[image source: http://ts2.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4979354394757349&pid=15.1]
As the late 20th century, people began talking about the possibility of a “paperless office.” The first prediction of the paperless office was actually introduced in an article in Business Week in 1975 on “The Office of the Future.” It became a buzzword in the 1980s. It coincided with the advent of the personal computer, and the hope was that all documents could be processed electronically and that paper would become irrelevant.
Since then, a number of technologies have made it seem within our grasp—chief among them desktop publishing, the web, e-mail, XML, content management systems, e-books, and more. Today, digital information flies around the world and into, through and out of our organizations, is managed and secured in digital repositories and drives business at lightning-fast speeds.
But has paper disappeared? Not at all. Actually, paper consumption is still increasing, soaring to extremely high levels.
Paper continues to predominate in activities that involve knowledge work, reading and collaboration. Paper is becoming a more temporary medium as people print, use and discard documents rather than keeping everything they print. Paper has become a display medium for human collaboration.
So, despite all of the advances and all of the talk and promises, we’re still using a lot of paper, and the vision of a paperless office is looking more and more like an illusion.