Paper in the paperless office

Stack of paper

The Build Network, a group of editors, executive teams, and experts dedicated to making organizations adaptable and resilient, published an article in their Summer 2013 issue about the paperless office.

The paperless office was first put into words by the head of the Xerox Palo Alto Resarch Center, George Pake, in 1995. He described how he would be able to “call up documents from my files on [a desktop] screen, or by pressing a button I can get my mail or any messages. I don’t know how much hard copy I’ll want in this world.”

Well George, it’s been 18 years and while we have those things, paper is still prevalent in most offices. Why? Studies show that our brains may still be wired to respond better to information on paper. This could be because information on screens (on websites) either cater to or create the tendency to skim or browse for information.  You can read the full article here.

Think you know about the print habits of the business world? Try this exercise:

  1. Compared with paper, the average person’s reading speed when using a tablet or e-reader:
    1. Increases ~10%
    2. Increases ~5%
    3. Is about the same
    4. Decreases ~5%
    5. Decreases ~10%
  2. You can reduce stress by 68% if you read a physical book for:
    1. ~3 minutes
    2. ~6 minutes
    3. ~18 minutes
    4. ~30 minutes
  3. The number of business cards printed in the U.S. each day is:
    1. 4 million
    2. 12 million
    3. 28 million
    4. 41 million
  4. Percentage of consumers who have opted out of paper statements from their banks and other billers is:
    1. 14%
    2. 26%
    3. 34%
    4. 41%
  5. The U.S. currently has a paper recycling rate of approximately:
    1. 35%
    2. 45%
    3. 55%
    4. 65%
  6. That rate equals how much per every person in the U.S.?
    1. 75 pounds
    2. 150 pounds
    3. 225 pounds
    4. 330 pounds
  7. The difference between the number of trees planted each year and those harvested or otherwise lost results in:
    1. A net loss of 0.5%
    2. Neither a loss nor a gain
    3. A net gain of 20%
    4. A net gain of 45%

Answers are 1-E, 2-B, 3-C, 4-A, 5-D, 6-D, 7-D

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