The Paperless Office: A Dream or a Reality?


So, as the name suggests, a paperless office is an office without any paper… But to what extent is paperless office a realistic aim for energy efficient businesses?

Or is the paperless office simply a futuristic dream which may never become a reality?

The Concept of a Paperless Office

A paperless office is one whereby all internal communication, as well as B2B and B2C relations are conducted electronically. In a paperless office there is no need for printers or fax machines or envelopes. Invoices and statements are all sent electronically using electronic document distribution.

The concept of a paperless office was born with the proliferation of the personal computer. As more documents were digitised and the internet made electronic document distribution possible, the concept seemed to become more of a reality. At present, however, the paperless office is still something towards which businesses are striving. Natural advantages to a paperless office make this a more appealing task. These advantages (which are also true of electronic document distribution) include being cheaper, more secure and faster than paper methods. Also, fewer staff will be required in a paperless office because tasks are automated by a computer.

Electronic Document Distribution

Electronic document distribution is a system which uses e-mail to inform customers or other businesses that their online invoice or statement is ready for them to view and pay. Electronic document distribution is therefore integral to a paperless office because the sending of invoices and statements would previously have been a company’s main source of paper usage.

Electronic document distribution can be complicated to implement, and requires specialist knowledge of the software involved. This has given birth to companies who specialize in the implementation of electronic document distribution and can help you towards a paperless office. You can either choose to outsource the task, e-mailing this company your invoices and statements, or you can gain their assistance in your electronic document distribution system.

The Paperless Office and the Environment

A paperless office is not only simple for you, but it is also greatly beneficial to the environment. In our modern world, being able to advertise yourself as ‘green’ is a highly effective way to attract customers. As it uses less paper, the paperless office instantly scores points. In addition, the paperless office uses less energy overall due to its absence of expensive printers or folder inserter machines. As a result the paperless office reduces your carbon footprint.