A Paperless Office?

     Being in the copier/print business, we’ve all heard the forecasts of an eventual paperless office.  For those in the biz, we find that forecast a little presumptuous.  In other words, pump the brakes!
     From all indications, many of us think that won’t happen in the very near future.  With the explosion of information, this should fuel more printing than ever.  Still others argue that with emerging technologies, print is destined to go by the wayside.  Who’s right?
     Most market research firms predict only modest reduction in print volume, at least for the foreseeable future.  A recent study by InfoTrends discovered that 81% of respondents in a survey, which included 750 general office workers in the US, the UK, Spain, and Brazil, considered the printer the most important office tool.  Since most printing today is done in traditional offices like business headquarters and branch offices, it’s interesting to note that 73% of these survey respondents reported they are trying to rely less on printing.  What’s amazing about that declaration is they also report that 80% of printed documents are required for the work to get done.  Add to that, nearly half of the office workers surveyed admit to printing something each and every day.
     Back to us folks in the business.  The key buzz word in this ever-changing industry is adaptation.  You have to adapt to what the marketplace demands.  Gone are the days of the standalone copiers.  These days, multi-functional units are almost always equipped with print/scan capabilities.  While scanning certainly cuts down on printing, paper is still needed in the modern office.  It’s important to note that millennials (ages 18-29) are keeping up the printing habit.  Hard to believe, but nevertheless a true fact. 
     Could it be the emotional connection with paper is real?  Many equate this to reading the daily newspaper or reading a book.  While some of us are happy to view on a screen, others tend to enjoy the whole experience of turning pages.   Accordingly, research shows that reading on paper also improves comprehension and retention, more food for thought.
     So … the paperless office may be a long way off.  Let’s just sit back and enjoy this ever-changing, high-tech world we live in.  It might just be a good ride!