C ome across the term “paper independence” yet? If you haven’t, you will soon. And since we’re here to keep you informed about the latest workplace trends, let’s explore this concept a bit further:
You’ll notice we don’t use the term “paperless”. “Companies make the decision to ‘go paperless’, but this is very difficult to achieve when you have potentially four generations working in one workplace – people who have only ever worked with paper and others who barely know what paper is unless they have to scan it to put it into their systems. So we are loath to use the word ‘paperless’, because for some it is neither practical nor productive,” says PEPworldwide:nz managing director Kathryn Anda.
PEPworldwide:nz advocates paper independence instead: “Paper independence means it’s ok if you want to print something – for example, a contract or proposal – to read it,” explains Anda. “Some of us still find it easier to read on paper rather than electronically. The key to paper independence, however, is what we do with it when we’re finished with it. You don’t need to keep it because you have an electronic version. Challenge yourself to ask, ”Have I finished with this piece of paper? Am I ready to recycle?’ with everything you deal with.”
It’s not easy to shake the hoarding habits of a lifetime. But consider the benefits of electronic versus old school:
Struggling to break the habit of automatically printing hard copies or putting pen to paper? Here are a couple of tips to get you started:
Going entirely paperless is often not realistic, but paper independence certainly is. Have a go at reducing your reliance on paper (and, as always, let us know how you get on). Yes, it will involve a change of mindset – but we figure you’re getting pretty good at that.
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