Paperless Office-Document Scanning: The New Office Environment -


Paperless Office-Document Scanning: The New Office Environment

By Loris F. Andres

The administration of a business enterprise, government office or other entity usually requires the processing of large amounts of paperwork. These institutions use official forms and other items in their operations and filing stores. This paper-based bureaucracy is the target of customary jibes and irritation. However, paperless office-document scanning now gives managers and staff the electronic ability to process documentation.

A paper-based office entails the costs of the paper, ink and printing equipment, and file storage venues. Staff have to spend time sorting or packing away files. Moving paper records from one place to another is also an exercise in logistics: the boxes of files are heavy and fax machines do not always produce copies of acceptable quality. Physical files sometimes get lost or damaged.

Environmental activists have raised the issue of how the manufacture of paper uses trees. They oppose the use of paper as a storage or correspondence material. Recycled paper, which was introduced in response to this negative sentiment, is not yet a universally utilized resource. Discarded paper is a significant element of landfill sites and pollution.

Using electronic methods to manage paperwork is therefore a sensible option. Masses of documents can be loaded onto a single device, such as a computer hard-drive or a USB drive. Backing up the documents is fast, even if they constitute the entire archive of an institution. Electronic equipment takes up a small amount of space on the premises, and is easy to move around. In any event, transporting the equipment is not necessary if e-mail or document cloud services are in use.

A document cloud service is an internet site that allows user to upload and store large amounts of data, files or documents there. This is convenient because it enables users to access the stored material from anywhere, without the need to keep copies with them in some other form. A cloud service may be paid or free. Potential users are advised to check security features and available storage space to see which option suits them.

The advantages of a paperless office over a paper-based one are, firstly, that the quality of scanned text is consistently high. Secondly, e-mail is instant and can be used to transmit massive amounts of records or other files. Recent file formats enable several hundred pages to be sent in a single attachment of several hundred kilobytes. People would not consider trying to fax a document of that size.

Expenditure on administrative operations can be decreased by the implementation of document scanning and electronic storage methods. The price of the equipment should be weighed against the expense of stationery. Paperless administration has seen the office environment use less paper and more technology.

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