Paper-dependent offices waste more than biggest time wasters for a reason.

Although we live in an era insisting on efficiency and cramming as much as possible into the few waking hours of the day, people still remain paper-dependent at work, therefore losing money.

In fact, in the office, where productivity tends to matter most, paper tends to be the most ridiculously over-glorified time waster, document management software being one of the few solutions to this incredibly pervasive ill.

But that’s all okay, because we’re here to help you face the music:

which is the simple fact that the most productive thing we can really do with paper in the office is, well, roll it up into a tube, tape it together, and hole punch a few slots in it to make a flute—albeit one that isn’t even worth using as an instrument.

And paper airplanes only lose that putative “most productive thing we can do with office paper” title by a nose.

The trick with paper is that it’s busy work, so although it makes many American works and workers across the globe feel like they’re getting work done, they’re really not.

That’s why workers become so much more frustrated when dealing with these other trivial time-wasters: they often require us to be completely idle, unlike the busy work of paper.

However, you’ll be surprised to discover the many ridiculous things that waste more time than relying on paper to conduct business.


Waiting in line

The New York Times reported in 2012 that standing in line, quite literally, is torture. And for good reason: Despite lines’ torturous status, the average person still spends less time waiting in lines each year than he or she does printing, faxing, mailing, and storing paper in filing cabinets.

The Paperless Project, a fellow paper detest-er, estimates that roughly 20% of the average employee’s time is spent retrieving and filing paper-based information.

In a 40-hour workweek, this equates to eight hours (also known as an entire workday). Compound that over the course of a 50-week work year, and 400 hours have been consigned to the waste bin.

Meanwhile, the average American only spends 115.98 hours waiting in line each year, equating roughly to only one-fourth the amount of time paper-dependent offices waste handling paper annually, but this needn’t be the case with mass adoption of document management software.


Getting Stuck in Traffic

Yet another reason why paper-dependent offices waste more time than biggest time wasters. The downside to economic recovery (as we’re experiencing) is more time spent in traffic per capita. Although we can circumvent the myriad problems traffic imposes with a remote work force empowered by mobile document management software, the issue still persists.

While the average American spends, as we’ve noted, 400 hours annually dealing with paper-dependent information annually while at work, the average American commuter only spends 42 hours stuck in traffic in the same period of time.

That means paper wastes 9.5x more time than being stuck in traffic. Looks like it’s time to replace the term “road rage” with “paper rage.”


Waiting for Transport

Waiting on platforms for trains or queueing at the regular bus stop comprises roughly 27 days of a person’s lifetime, with an obvious skew toward those who live in major American metropoles.

However, if we consider this figure over the span of the average paper-dependent American’s working life (10.3 total years), and multiply this by the Paperless Project’s 20 percent figure for time wasted on paper, we find that we waste 2.06 total years in our lives handling paper while at the office.

This eclipses the comparatively small sliver of a fraction of a fraction of time that we spend waiting for transport—putting paper in its well-deserved place as over 27 times more time wasting than waiting for transport.


Waiting on Hold: Paper-dependent Offices Waste More than Biggest Time Wasters for a Reason

The average person only spends an average of 13 hours annually waiting on hold for customer service, as originally reported by Time magazine.

Again, this pales in comparison to the time wasted on paper-dependent organizational processes—hold times only taking up three percent of the total time that paper-dependent businesses waste on handling, storing, and retrieving information.

So next time you’re on hold, just remember it’s not the biggest waste of time in the world, because that title belongs to relying on paper to transact and conduct business, which you needn’t do with document management software. Paper-dependent offices waste more than biggest time wasters in a variety of fashions, but this one is probably the most cringe-worthy.


Warming Bare Feet Under the Bathroom Hand Dryer at Work

This sole reason alone (pun intended) justifies our use of the word “disturbing” in the title of this blog. Because, believe it or not, someone has actually been caught doing this:

and to the boss overseeing this employee, well, he or she must feel pretty bad knowing the employee used company dollars to do something so inane while still on the clock.

Although it’s more blatantly dumb than handling office paper, it’s regrettably more productive than handling office paper. After all, her feet probably felt pretty good after warming them up under the “hand” dryer.

Who knows? Maybe it contributed to her well being as an employee and eventually spiked her productivity, but this person was probably fired first, ironically.


How Will You Act Knowing Paper-dependent Offices Waste More than Biggest Time Wasters?

So, there you have it: We can practically add up all these time wasters combined and they would still not overshadow the time wasting nature of paper-dependent processes, revealing that busy hands handling the wrong information medium are the devil’s playground, giving idle hands a break for once.

When taking all this wasted time into consideration, we are only left with so many hours to live. Will you take a pass on paper-dependent organizational processes, or will you succumb to their inefficiencies and drown in the wake of your paperless competitors?

We sure hope you choose the prior of these two options for your sake and ours alike. If you don’t want to succumb to living in paper-dependent offices waste more than biggest time wasters, give eFileCabinet a call today.