Whatever happened to the paperless office? That’s a good question. With the wonder of today’s technology, we have the capacity to contain whole filing cabinets of information on just one CD-ROM.
Look at what the following can hold:
1. One floppy disk: 750 sheets, about a five-inch stack of typed pages;
2. 100Mb hard disk: contents of a four-drawer filing cabinet, and
3. CD-ROM: entire roomful of paper.
Saving paper can mean fewer file cabinets, which can reduce your office space needs dramatically. It’s estimated to cost over $2,000 each year to maintain a filing cabinet and about $25,000 to fill it. These costs include the labor and paper costs. One estimate even states that about 3 percent of your filing cabinet documents will become misplaced, and it will cost about $120 in labor to find each one. On the other hand, storing files on disk or CD-ROM is much less expensive in human time and in storage space.
While relying less on paper has many advantages, be aware of possible disadvantages:
* Your office may use more energy if computers, faxes, or other equipment are left on longer with higher demand.
* Increased health risks can arise due to eye strain, low-frequency radiation, carpal tunnel syndrome, nonergonomic workstations, etc.