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Disadvantages of a Paperless Office

written by: Alice Rovney•edited by: Ronda Bowen•updated: 10/16/2010

Ever seen the movie The Good The Bad and The Ugly? While a paperless office is no comparison to a Clint Eastwood movie, it can make you feel like your in the middle of a showdown sometimes. It's you versus the computer. Who will win?

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    Paperless Office: The Bad and The Ugly

    Disadvantages of a paperless office 

    It's true. There is a dark side to the paperless office. Have you ever had that feeling that your computer was challenging you to a showdown and only one of you was going to walk out alive? Sometimes a paperless office exacerbates that feeling. Why? Simply because there is more technology at play. And with ever advancing software software programs and hardware technology it can be difficult to keep up. Add to that the fatal errors brought on by a virus or an electrical storm that fried one of your capacitors. The war stories are never ending. Following are some disadvantages of a paperless office.

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    Never Completely Paperless

    Perhaps one of the most disheartening disadvantages, say that five times fast, of a paperless office is the fact that you will always have some sort of paper. Legal documents that have been notorized, deeds and receipts that come in the mail with packages are all examples of paper that continues to plague the paperless office. Even if documents that are non-official in nature are scanned into your system, you still need to destroy them and this means shredding. Although, in and of itself, shredding is not bad. There are lots of ways to recycle shredded paper including using it in your bunny cage or as fuel for your wood stove. The simple truth is though, as hard as you try to go completely paperless, your office will always have some form of paper that needs to be filed away in a safe place.

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    The Evil Gunmen

    Yep. They're everywhere, those evil gunmen. They're lurking in unknown places on the internet waiting to shoot your system down with some virus or worm. They're sitting behind a computer screen of their own just waiting for the opportunity to hack into your system. They're even in the rain and lightning brought on by stormy weather. Is your computer too hot? You'll find an evil gunman there. Drink coffee or soda at your desk? You guessed it, another evil gunmen.

    A paperless office system means that the majority of your vital information is located on your computer. If anything happens to your system then you can wave bye bye to your business records. That's why it is so important to have a backup system and security software in place. It's another cost associated with a paperless office, but one that cannot be overlooked. Read Lee Clemmer's article entitled The Top Ten Famous Computer Viruses for more information about these deadly bad guys.

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    Do We Even Make Pencils Anymore?

    What happened to the good old days where a hot cup of coffee, a blank sheet of paper, and sharpened number two pencil was all that was needed to get those creative juices flowing. Nowadays it's the monitor and the keyboard. Talk about eyestrain and tired fingers. How many errors were in that last document you typed?

    Another disadvantage of a paperless office is that sometimes you still need to work things out with paper and pencil. It just helps with the brainstorming process and goes hand in hand with the fact that an office is never completely paperless. Read the article Learn The Most Important Part of Brainstorming by Nataliajones. Sometimes it is more productive to take a pen and notepad to an outside meeting than it is a laptop. Can you imagine the stares as everyone focuses in on the tickety tack sound your fingers make clicking away at your laptop's keyboard while you take notes?

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    Is It Me Or Are The Dollar Signs Actually Growing

    Last but not least, another disadvantage of a paperless office is the cost involved. Their are costs for software products, costs for computer upgrades, costs for document management and even costs to protect the documents that you are paying to manage virtually. Of course, some of these are one time costs or annual fees and they usually don't compare to the costs that you'll pay for reams of paper and computer ink throughout the year. Nevertheless, the costs to setup a paperless office can seem like a mountain of dollar signs as you shell out the cash to purchase the technology you need.

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