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We're this close to a paperless office

Our offices are still not entirely paper-free, but we're slowly getting there. This optimistic prediction has been published in a new report by AIIM, entitled ‘Paper-Free in 2016, Are we there yet?’. According to the report, the amount of paper going into offices is declining, while digital inbound documents are increasing, for two thirds of business executives. 

The report launches as part of the run up to World Paper Free Day (WPFD) 2016, the company said, taking place on November 4.  “The once elusive concept of paper-free business operations is today a real possibility and real progress has been made over the past 12 months,” said Bob Larrivee, chief analyst at AIIM. “It remains unrealistic to think that all business processes and transactions will be paper-free in the near future, but there are definitely certain processes where paper can be removed.” 

There are 'strong signs' of paper usage reduction in certain departments, the report says, with Human Resources decreasing in recruitment by 49 per cent, and employee lifecycle by 48 per cent.  For 41 per cent of people in Accounts Payables and for 39 per cent in Accounts Receivables, paper use is also decreasing.  

“World Paper Free Day 2016 is a really important day, as despite the undoubted progress made over the past year, many organisations are still clogged up and slowed down by paper,” said Peggy Winton, acting President, AIIM. “This year we want to pass on our thoughts and expertise in helping to reduce paper-use in the workplace and would like to invite anyone – business, department or individual – to come and join us on World Paper Free Day 2016.”

“Digital technologies enable us to operate in an increasingly connected world. That’s why investment in the latest online services and applications is so critical to give people instant access to the data they need," said Chas Moloney, Director Ricoh UK.

"As AIMM’s latest survey shows, our offices are not entirely paper-light yet but progress is being made. Creating a paper- light world requires a long-term strategy beyond digitisation, including remodelling of key processes to ensure that digital documents can reach the right people, at the right time, securely.

Becoming paper-light will save money, but its real value comes with enabling new ways of working by allowing direct access to critical information at the touch of a button” 

Image Credit: Jason Truscott / Flickr

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.