5 Disadvantages of Going Paperless

A woman reading through important documents

Many offices are going paperless to save the environment and cut down costs. Not only does this reduce their carbon footprint, but having documents stored in one place (such as the cloud) improves efficiency and productivity in the workplace.

But just like with any other system, digital file keeping also comes with its drawbacks. From higher software and data storage costs to cybersecurity risks, the paperless route isn’t always the best solution for every office.

In this article, we’ll dive into the disadvantages of going paperless and what it could mean for your business.

Paperless Disadvantage #1: Your Business Operations Will Be Too Dependent on Technology

Technology is brilliant, but it is far from perfect. Sure, it makes it easier to access every file with the click of a button, but too much dependence on digital documents is risky. What would you do if your computer suddenly stopped functioning during an important presentation or if your employees couldn’t access cloud-based files to finish time-sensitive tasks?

These situations highlight one of the biggest disadvantages of going paperless; without a printed backup of your files, your business operations will be put on hold. This is why keeping physical copies of documents is vital to ensure that you always have access to important data if technology ever decides to fail you.

a man rubbing his eyes while working on his laptop

Paperless Disadvantage #2: You’ll Need to Invest in More IT Solutions

Integrating data security or storage platforms onto existing platforms requires expert IT knowledge, which can cost a lot. This is another one of the disadvantages of going paperless; if you or your employees aren’t tech-savvy, you’ll have a hard time understanding how to optimize your data security plans.

Keeping physical copies of important data will allow you to have more peace of mind regarding the safety of your documents. It’s cheaper, hassle-free, and requires no expertise.

Paperless Disadvantage #3: It Doesn’t Always Equal Eco-Friendliness

It’s a longstanding belief that a paperless office is a low-carbon-emitting office. However, this may not always be the case. Paperless offices still employ digital services, and these are always running and connected to the main electricity outlets in the workplace. In fact, carbon footprint emissions caused by digitalization are steadily rising, and this clearly points out that going paperless doesn’t automatically equate to an eco-friendly office.

Apart from that, most machines are made using materials such as heavy metals and petrochemical products—both of which are harmful to the environment. This means using sustainable paper at the office might just be more eco-friendly than going entirely digital.

Paperless Disadvantage #4: Various Health Concerns Could Arise

This possible disadvantage of going paperless might seem a little improbable—but it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Professions that require us to be on our screens most of the time require our eyes to work harder and can result in computer vision syndrome (CVS). Although symptoms can be easy to treat, it’s still not ideal for anyone to feel any discomfort while working.

However, carpal tunnel syndrome is more dangerous and much harder to treat. It was also found that electronic document handling (EHI) can result in increased risks of work-related musculoskeletal disorders and other stress-related issues.

Clearly, it isn’t possible to completely get rid of the need to use laptops or computers in an office, but you can offer your employees alternative, offline ways to complete their tasks—such as printing the documents they need to handle so that they don’t have to always be staring at a screen.

 A person taking a sheet of paper from a printer

Paperless Disadvantage #5: More Software and Data Storage Costs

One of the disadvantages of going paperless means implementing a variety of tools and software to manage your files effectively. While this could be an added benefit to offices—especially since it saves costs on buying paper and frees up storage spaces on computers—digital filing is quite costly.

Data security is another expense you’d have to consider in digitizing your files. This is an essential step if you want to go paperless because data storage and security protocols will help keep your documents protected and readily available. These solutions, however, are priced with monthly, recurring fees.

Discover Cost-Effective Solutions at Busys

All these disadvantages of going paperless prove that having printers is still vital for ensuring efficient office operations. Ultimately, you’re going to need to strike the right balance between your printed and digital documents.

Here at Busys, we’ll help you find the best of both worlds. With our wide selection of printers and reliable software solutions—such as digital document management—you’ll be able to give your office the perfect balance it needs at cost-effective prices.

We’ve been in the industry for over 35 years and have delivered only the best customer service to our clients across Canada and the United States. If you’re ready to learn more about our services, get in touch with us today!

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