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Paper-less office

By Murray Bourne, 05 Jun 2007

Opportunity lost.

When we all moved to using computers, there was potential for reducing paper use to almost zero.

According to Singapore's Straits Times, a survey of 100 local companies showed that 43 actually used more paper than in 2005, when the last survey was done. I'm surprised it wasn't all of them.

It's a joke. I see the following craziness every day:

  • Paper backups of everything "for the auditors"
  • Printing out emails
  • Printing out meeting agendas, especially when they have only one or 2 items
  • Printing out student assignment submissions
  • Coordinating schedules via paper-based calendars

What we should require is:

  • Bring your laptop to meetings (I always do this. I have all the documentation I need, I can demonstrate websites, or articles, or whatever we are talking about)
  • Keep things in multiple soft copy (proper electronic backup is better than hard copy any day)
  • Remember that e-mails are "e"
  • Use collaboration tools like Google Docs rather than pass around paper copies for amendments

Get with the programme. Paper use must be significantly reduced.

See the 4 Comments below.

4 Comments on “Paper-less office”

  1. Steven says:

    Think of the implications of all those trees ending up in landfill.

    Here's a thought - education institutions should be totally paperless, especially if there is high usage of laptops or PCs.

    The students seem happy to use computers all day - why not require them to do so, to save the planet?

    Then, when they start work, they will already be comfortable in a paperless environment.

  2. Murray says:

    Good point, Steven. Republic Polytechnic in Singapore is "almost paperless".

  3. Li-sa says:

    And math (especially horrendous ones) should go electronic too!

  4. Reynir says:

    About making educational institutions paperless, maybe we could use that sweet XO-1, designed for poor countries but just as useful to mass-produce for kids in richer countries.

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