Do you dream of a paperless office? Of putting away the printer for ever and never seeing another business document in hardcopy again? Well, a new study has found that that dream may still be far off. In the study, conducted by Altodigital, it was found that 76% of UK companies consider printed pages critical to their business.
The survey asked 1 000 decision makers at business across the UK to determine whether offices will be paperless in the future. The study found that the reverse is true, with just 5% of respondents indicating that they believe their offices will be paper free in the next 5 years.
Staff were found to be the biggest issue when it came to the paperless office, with 46% choosing to always print in colour and 39% opting to print on one side of the page only, thereby increasing paper and printer cartridge usage. When it came to tracking their printing costs and paper usage, 46% of companies admitted that they don’t. Only 40% of business chose to store their files in digital format only, with 90% saying they preferred to have both a hard copy and a digital copy as back up.
Despite all of this, 73% of respondents said they had printing and document handling in place, which allowed staff to track printing costs and manage their documents in a more eco-friendly way. But 27% of managers did not inform their staff of the green printing solutions they could be using.
When asked why they still choose to print, 45% of respondents said they preferred the convenience of having a hard copy of their documents to hand, while 30% did not trust digital storage solutions.
Tony Burnett, Group Sales Director at Altodigital, commented on the findings by saying that the paperless office is not a new trend but that their research shows that there is real resistance from staff when it comes to putting it into practice and that there was a general misunderstanding about what a paperless environment is.
It’s not merely a case of printing less, but also involves examining how people use paper. He said that perhaps we should talk about a “paper-less” environment and reduce our need for and reliance on the printed page.
If you still feel that printing in your office is important, there are ways to go about saving on your printing costs. Showing staff how to print on both sides of a page or printing in black and white only can go a long way towards saving money. So can using remanufactured or compatible printer ink and toner cartridges.
An infographic showing the results from the survey can be viewed here.