We’ve all heard about offices “going paperless.”

Perhaps your workplace even has aspirations to cut out the paper and go completely digital.

But is it possible?

Or perhaps the better question is this—is it even desirable?

Environmental concerns, convenience for both customers and employees, and increasing efficiency are all reasons that workplace managers tend to start thinking about going paperless. Digitization is indeed a good thing in a great many cases, and Xerox products like the VersaLink C500 and others have cloud and internet capabilities which can help organizations reduce paper usage.

However, as we’ll explore in today’s post, there are more than a handful of business scenarios where paper is still not only beneficial, but necessary. We believe that the key is reduction, i.e., using paper when necessary and digitizing when it offers a direct benefit.

Let’s take a look at three scenarios where paper is still king:

3 Business Scenarios When Going Paperless is a Bad Idea#1 – Paper Can Be More Effective

Imagine that someone sends you a picture through email. It’s nice, sure, but compare the “email feeling” to a time when someone sent you a print picture, perhaps nicely framed. The print version—even if it’s the exact same picture—will have a greater emotional effect on the recipient.

This effect holds true in a variety of business scenarios like…

  • Certain forms of advertising including brochures, handouts, and direct physical mail
  • Invitations to special business events
  • Distribution portfolios
  • Thank-you letters and other client outreach methods
  • And more

The greater impact of tangible paper products has been the subject of several studies. One of the more comprehensive studies was conducted by the United States Postal Service (PDF link, long) wherein researchers concluded that a subject viewing a paper advertisement has a heightened neurophysical reaction compared to digital advertisements, remembers the content longer, and is more likely to take action.

While this isn’t to say that digital marketing should be eschewed entirely (it’s 2017, that would be crazy), it’s correct to say that print advertisements are still very effective even in an increasingly digitized world.

When your advertisement, business correspondence, or marketing material needs to pack a punch, paper can make it that much more effective.

3 Business Scenarios When Going Paperless is a Bad Idea#2 – Sometimes Security Demands it

While general knowledge of digital security and its importance in the workplace has improved remarkably in recent years for most small and midsize business owners, sometimes there are situations where keeping hard copies of certain important documents are useful.

In a cloud-enabled working environment, theft of intellectual property or sensitive information is always a concern—no matter how good digital security gets, it’s hard to beat a fireproof safe. For those businesses who use non-cloud storage, a single hard drive failure could be catastrophic.

The bottom line? Paper can’t be hacked or get a virus.

#3 – Your Clients May Demand Print Copies

It’s not uncommon for clients to request print copies of certain documents, such as contracts, agreements, invoices, or receipts. Sometimes “we’ll email it to you” just doesn’t cut it for these customers, and if you want to be able to accommodate them on the spot, keeping a printing solution in your workplace will definitely come in handy.

For the reasons outlined in #1, these clients most likely feel more secure with hard copies. While e-signatures are for all intents and purposes the same as a handwritten signature, “old school” clients will appreciate it when you accommodate them with hard copy.

Convinced About Paper? We Can Help…

We hope that this post has been informative—and convinced you that while digitization and going paperless is definitely a good thing, going 100% without paper is not without significant drawbacks.

If you’d like to learn more about our high-end Xerox office products, a knowledgeable and friendly member of our team would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to contact us today.