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The paperless office: ignore it or promote it?

Posted by Paul Neefjes on 01 December, 2016

paperless-office

We’ve got good news for lovers of the paperless office: the trend for organisations to use increasingly less paper continued undiminished last year. This was announced by the Association for Information and Image Management (AAIM) on 4 November this year on World Paperfree Day. Which department contributes most to using less paper? HR!

Which is actually not really surprising as they have daily contact with younger employees and therefore have to respond to their need for digital communication. And let’s face facts – doesn’t everyone find a job through social media? And, of course you always apply online too, don’t you? There’s no way that Generations Y and Z are going to stuff a printed letter in an envelope and post it.


A wet signature

And yet the paperless office is still not totally embedded everywhere. For instance, a lot of people still enjoy reading from paper or signing official documents with a ‘real’ signature (65% according to AAIM). Besides that, there are always a few paper addicts in every organisation. They simply can’t cope with the fact that there are no stacks of paper on their desks. Ever tried to convince them to print less? They’ll quickly change the subject!


Promote the CSR benefits of the paperless office

If you want to promote the paperless office, fans of mobile apps are a bit easier to approach. They manage to synchronise work and private appointments as if they’d never done anything else. Do they jot down their to-do lists on a notepad? I don’t think so! Everything is online. Also, they never fail to find their meeting documents. So let’s face it – colleagues like that are like a breath of fresh air! If you want to promote this way of working in your company, you should forget arguments like cost-savings and efficiency for once. Try a different approach. Because a paperless office makes your company well and truly green!


Promote the paperless office: 3 sustainable arguments


Argument 1: Healthy for you
A paperless meeting doesn’t just mean using less paper but also using less ink and toner. About 15 million ink cartridges are used every year in the Netherlands alone. And all that printing releases ozone, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and other harmful substances into the atmosphere. Which you breathe in. So print less. That’s good for the ozone layer and for you.

Argument 2: Goodbye traffic jams
The more your colleagues work digitally, the better you handle the ‘New Way of Working’ and the more flexibly you work. The paperless office also helps with this! Because sharing documents online, making digital notes to each other’s projects and meeting professionally online mean that you don’t have to actually meet face-to-face so often. And better flexible working means that you don’t have to spend so much times in traffic jams, which, taken together, saves a lot of CO2 emissions! What’s more, your employer needs less office space, which saves energy because all of that has to be heated and lit.

Argument 3: Think before you print, and save a tree
Every year, 2.9 hectares of forest are felled to provide the Netherlands with the paper that we use. And we all know what that leads to – deforestation. And we also know the impact that it has on global warming. Paperless meetings save a lot of trees.


Our challenge!

Maybe you’re thinking “We’re not doing badly in our organisation. We don’t use so much paper”. Well why not take up our challenge? Do the Save a Tree Test and see how many trees you can save. Because to make 25 packs of A4 paper takes a tree!


Save a tree test

Topic: Paperless working

iBabs is a leader in paperless meetings and enables you to reduce these piles of documents to the thickness of your tablet. Hundreds of organizations have been using this system for more than 15 years.

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