Will there ever be a 100% paperless office?

SAP Concur Singapore |

The digital age has brought about a plethora of change in everyday culture:

  • Newspapers are struggling to survive as daily news is available online and through social media outlets.
  • Brick and mortar book stores – and let’s be honest, retail stores, in general— are becoming sparser as they can’t compete with online giants, like Amazon.
  • Texting and social media have trumped phone calls and more frequent in-person communication.
  • Information is readily available by pressing “enter” on a Google search, as opposed to hours of research in the library.
  • Smart phones store a computer’s worth of information, complete with GPS – meaning maps, phone books and cameras more obsolete.
  • Parking systems with their own computers are built into cars.
  • Apps provide endless hours of entertainment, company branding, organization and information – and all on a 5 to 10” device.
  • Travel and expenses are mobile and streamlined for ease-of-use and more productive workflows.


Not to mention, mobility allows people to work anywhere, anytime – even at 39,000 feet. Basically, immediate gratification is the name of the game, and technology is continuing to evolve exponentially.


Paperless future – myth or possibility?

With all the technological advances and the ability to literally Google through our eyeglasses, why do we still have paper? Many companies and educational institutions are fighting to become paperless for the obvious green reasons; but also because digitalization is more secure, cost effective, compliant and readily available.


According to Entrepreneur, there are really only two kinds of paper that are still relevant in modern society, for obvious reasons:


  1. Cash, though the need for paper currency is quickly disappearing with electronic transactions.
  2. Toilet paper, aka “bathroom tissue”


Paper is still very much a reality in the workplace. Some of the older generations working in the office have their own workstyles that incorporate manual notetaking and paper copies. Not to mention, workers are still printing documents for presentation and retention purposes. Many offices also still rely on filing cabinets and paper workflows, which can make the transition even more difficult. 


All of the paper increases operating costs, though. According to a recent survey by YouGov, small to medium-sized businesses waste the equivalent of $70 million per day looking for documents, and reduce.org notes that the cost of paper in the everyday office runs from 13-31 times the cost of actually purchasing the paper. If those statistics don’t boggle your mind, the estimated $460 billion in salaries needed to manage paper-driven information overload should make businesses consider their bottom line potential, sans paper.


Your business could benefit from paperless solutions – but change takes time

The reality is that your business, whether enterprise or small to medium sized, could greatly benefit from streamlined, automated systems with digitization. Many offices, especially those with Millennials who grew up in the Information age, are on their way to a more paperless office. The solution to a billion-dollar problem is a secure, compliant paperless document solution, but many businesses are still making the hurdle toward this office model. Trying to figure this out across American, let alone the world, takes time.


Businesses should consider the following benefits as motivation to help them trail blaze toward digitized office solutions:

  • The green effect – Digital workplaces save trees and the environment, bottom line.
  • Cost savings – Businesses save thousands of dollars with automated, paperless processes.
  • Increased productivity – Streamlined process and digital operations help increase productivity by saving unnecessary workflow steps. 


Wouldn’t it be nice to have your office digitized? Learn about Concur's streamlined travel, expense, and invoice solutions solutions to start reducing your paper and improving your workflow today.

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