14 January 2013

The paperless office

This blog post, rant(?), has been brought about by the continued de-junking of life, which involves sorting a lot of paper.  A *lot* of paper...

For years people have been predicting the paperless office - a salesman tried to sell this idea to my dad back in '79-80 when his then employer was getting their first computer (with a whopping 8K (yes, K) of RAM - an early Commodore PET, for those interested[1]).  It was bollocks then and it is bollocks now; my (soon to be ex) office uses insane amounts of paper (it's an insurance company, they love everything to be written down) and it is no different to any other office I've worked in and, I'm willing to bet, no different to any office you've worked in too.

Why do we all get insane amounts of paper delivered to us?  Why does every bank I have an account with insist on sending me a tree's worth of paper a year?  Why does BT send me an envelope stuffed full of paper on a semi-regular basis to tell me who I've phoned?  Why does HMRC send me all kinds of crap several times a year?  All of this can be online now (I know, I use their online services) and in many cases already is sold as "paperless" (hello Metro Bank, who today gave me a whole new pile of paper; despite giving me a "paperless" account). Why, and HMRC I'm looking at you here, do I need to keep so much of the bloody stuff ?  For years!

This isn't without issue, but it is a solvable problem.  If nothing else solving the problem would: 1) be of use to IT as a whole; 2) make the paperless office more achievable, even if it isn't ever going to happen.

We need to forget the folly that is the paperless office and focus on something a little more achievable; specifically: the paperless house.  The paperless home.  The home less cluttered (sorry, L).

De-junk your life and don't (re)fill it with paper.

[1] - "we knew they were lying, they sold us a printer to go with it" - my dad on discussing what was once considered a high-end computer.