Printing Remains Crucial

Although the idea of a “Paperless Office” has been around for over 35 years now, printed pages continue to be a central part of daily office life.

According to a new, independent survey of over 3,600 European employees commissioned by Epson Europe, 64% indicated they’d prefer to read reports and brochures on printed paper, citing the ability to ‘share/handout’ (53%), ‘read’ (44%) and ‘edit/annotate’ (41%) as key factors. In addition, 62% believed that errors were more likely to occur when editing an electronic document as opposed to a printout. Overall, an overwhelming majority (83%) felt a ‘paperless office is unrealistic’.

Rob Clark, Senior Vice President of Epson Europe, states “it is clear from our research that – despite digital advances – people still like to work with paper, preferring print rather than working on-screen for certain tasks”.

Clark continues: “The reality is organizations need printing, not only to help employees work more effectively but reap wider productivity. People collaborate effectively for many tasks digitally; for many others, a printed page is key, or an interactive whiteboard, an augmented reality headset or an in-person huddle. Businesses need to provide their employees with the options to use the best technology and processes for each task in each circumstance, from the humble printed page to the more sophisticated digital collaboration tools.”

Renowned global futurist, Jack Uldrich, adds ‘the paperless office hasn’t materialized for the same reason that microwave ovens didn’t replace all traditional ovens. Every technology has unique benefits, and paper is no different; it’s arguably the greatest instrument ever invented for conveying, sharing and disseminating information. Recent scientific studies have demonstrated that people understand and retain information present on paper at a far higher level than information presented electronically”, which may explain why 61% of respondents agreed that “there is more chance of making errors when editing an electronic document than editing a print-out”.

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