Apparently, it was 50 years ago that the term “paperless office” was first used. While I haven’t been working quite that long, I do remember the days when everyone was espousing the benefits of the paperless office and how awesome that would be.
Wow we won’t need all those filing cabinets! We’ll save loads of money on paper – save a tree! Hell, we may not even need a printer. We’re going to save the planet!
I confess that I love paper. Nothing makes me happier than to wander around a stationery or office supply shop picking up various forms, file folders and notebooks.
I attend meetings with my trusted notepad and pen in hand. Alas I am the only one.
When I see the note at the bottom of an email asking me to consider the environment before printing I consider the environment before printing.
My office in the Dexter Horton Building was a shrine to my beloved paper. One four-drawer lateral filing cabinet, one two-drawer lateral filing cabinet, and one two-drawer filing cabinet. Each of them full of reports, spreadsheets, folders and invoices. Life was good.
Then the announcement came. Lexblog would be moving to WeWork. It’s an innovative new approach to the traditional office that would offer flexibility, a wonderful work environment with loads of great opportunity to network. It’s the future. Wow, there’s even free beer!!
What could be the downside?
WHAT!!!! I will need to scan 7 years of paperwork! There’s no room for all those file cabinets! The paperless office has to become a reality! I’m breaking out in a cold sweat! I don’t even drink beer!
Most of my coworkers picked up their computers and backpacks and happily moved to our new digs. I do often wonder what they carry in those overstuffed bags.
More and more furniture, fixtures and equipment is removed daily. My desk needs to go too. I remain as a lone figure with a scanner sitting at the only desk left in a vast open office space that was LexBlog.
It took a while but today I am very happy to be reunited with the other great members of the LexBlog team. WeWork is everything that it was promised to be and I am getting settled into my lovely new office with a window.
The paperless office has become more of a reality for me than it has ever been. My paper withdrawal symptoms are waning but it’s a process. What if the cloud bursts? There is still one smaller filing cabinet in my new office. It gives me comfort.