Sociability and the Paperless Office

The concerns of a piece of paper within the office environment and the sociability can only be best described, how a piece of paper can be used to influence and what actions this has on our every day lives.

One the most influencing books written about the paperless office, Harper and Sellen (2002) is a book called, The Myth of the Paperless Office and the most important thing about this book is that it does not talk about the latest technology and the latest products its main area is that of how we interacted with a piece of paper within the office environment

If an office does not have paper could we call it an office forms the start. What makes an office no matter what or how a piece of paper is used, weather it is too write a note or even to write a report.

Every desk or table within an office will have a piece of paper. If you can image the next time to go to work and every piece of paper has gone form the writing pad to the yellow post it notes the sudden change of environment would be a great sociable and cultural sock to the system.

What is meant by the terminology of the wording sociable? (Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, Volume XI),Sociable in the dictionary will cover the meanings of  friendly, convivial, cordial or it could be place into an other area of acceptance is the paperless office sociable acceptable within a work environment to a meaning of an office with no paper.

It could also mean in a location of a surrounding situation felling uneasy or not comfortable with a surroundings feature. Every person will have felt this uneasiness sometime in they life with regards to not having the correct tools to perform their duties

One of the sections within the book, Harper and Sellen (2002) “The myth of the paperless office” discusses the situation of an air traffic control tower. Could an air traffic control tower operate without a piece of paper, bits of paper where placed overall the place but to the air traffic controllers these pieces of paper where strategically place in certain place so they could read these as and when they require at the points when they needed them most.

Could you place a paperless computer system in this environment and expect the air traffic controller to be in a comfortable surrounding, would they believe that they are in control of the situation.

The paperless office has been around for some time since 1975 and some people might say that this was just a concept to a future vision of what might happen. If you understood computer system back in the 1970’s this could easily be imagined with the possible power and future vision of the computer.

Can we calculate the interaction of a piece of paper as a medium and communication device to assist the development of the Paperless Office?

Microsoft office and word systems has become one of the main system that everybody users, but has this replaced the piece of paper has it replaced the type writer as a writing implement and not as a communication medium.

If we are trying to understand what the difference is from the standard communication ways to the non traditional ways. Is it possible to class the standard ways as the e mails and the word documents. What do we class the small notes and piece of paper which float around the office and of course what about the post it notes that we use all the time in the office? Do we class these as the part of the paperless office if we are going to try to develop a system that we can control and be fully understood to what we called a paperless office?

Harper and Sellen (2002) wrote about a piece of paper and the external paper activities.Could the paperless office be achieved by substituting and filling in the gap with the area of secondary paper? Are the secondary paper activities been used totally as second nature not only as second nature? If you attended a meeting, the first thing that might enter your mind is the pad and pen, knowing that this meeting will certainly require some notes to be taken. How can we take the paperless office seriously when the first thing that enters our minds is pad and pen.


About martin smith

A degree in Engineering Management ,who is just trying to make life a bit easier, for anyone who wishes to read these articles. View all posts by martin smith

One response to “Sociability and the Paperless Office

  • Koen van Turnhout

    Dear Martin, thank you for pointing out this blog, it is an interesting topic! Related to this post: I believe an important sociability characteristic of paper is that it van have many different social statusses. It can be very important (contract) or very unimportant (napkin), it can be private or public. By the way it is used it can navigate seamlessly across those statusses. Electonic tools like e-readers do not have this flexibilty because they are more expensive and more constraint in their use. This is an unsolved barier for the paperless office.

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