The Modern Workplace: A Paperless Office

In this year 2020, I beg you to name one small business process where printing on paper cannot be accomplished in a digital manner instead. If we can sign contracts electronically, file our taxes digitally, apply online for government benefits, opt for paperless bank statements, order services, and products online, accept payments online or with mobile apps, pay with our mobile device at the market…  then why do we really need to print?

  • When I use the Walmart Pay service when buying groceries at the store, they don’t even offer a receipt – it’s all done digitally.

I haven’t owned a printer or even printed on anyone else’s printer for years. The last time I bought a printer was to get a scanner as part of the deal as a multifunction device – I needed an input device, not an output device. But now I do all my scanning with my iPhone and Office 365 mobile apps, especially as scanning can be performed directly from within both OneNote and OneDrive.

If I enter into an agreement, let’s say with a vendor, then I become the digital signee. But If I have a contract that a customer would want to sign, then I request an electronic signature from them using Adobe Sign, that is, using the add-in that works right within the Office 365 (Mac or PC) apps and services, like OutlookWord/PowerPointSharePointFlow, or Teams.

Now consider this scenario when a Microsoft employee, Jon Levesque, gave a demonstration:

“During this session, he displayed an amazing use of Microsoft Form and Flow in a way that I honestly did not know was possible. He had a form with multiple choice answers, and he let the audience fill out the form on their mobile phones. He then used Microsoft Flow to take the data from all the multiple-choice questions and turn it into a streaming data set for Power BI and he had all these pretty little pie charts for each of his multiple-choice questions. Then the Flow sent out a simple and sweet thank you email to the person who submitted the form to finish it up!”

Like above, your digitally creativity when leveraging the various Office 365 apps and services has become boundless.

I’ve spent a great deal of time tonight searching for a convincing reason to print ink onto paper. And I cannot find a single one.

UPDATE: October 24, 2020
I found a reason to have a printer — to print shipping labels. That’s it.

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