Category Archives: Future of the Office

Putting the “Office” into the Paperless Office

If we want to bring the paperless office to a new height and bring the paperless system to an office, do you think that the office as we all known and understand will have to change?

Has the office stopped the potential growth of the paperless system, what would we class as a office in real terms has the office ever changed, you would be right to say once or twice, we started with the traditional layout, a picture looking like George Orwell’s Film 1984, not in the sense of big brother but in the sense of totalitarian presence with a straight line of desks, all in a dark grey and black colours and a strict sense of uniformed procedures with no curves for flexibility.

Times changed and we started to understand that the work force should have a more relaxed atmosphere, not so straight and down the line, but a space between the desk and yourself and a so called workable free area.

This workable free area became more common and we started to look at the work space and not a desk, individual offices became obsolete and an open space had no barriers between the workers and the managers, we slowly developed into the open plan office and this really provided a greater open space were we could glide around and have this free feeling to encourage better working conditions.

Up to a point these have been the main areas, give or take a few untraditional methods, I write this simply because if we want the paperless office to develop we must consider all the connecting and surrounding aspects, put it another way, if you were buying a sport car you would expect it to have a powerful engine to class it as a sports car not a middle of the road family car engine, is this slowly happing to the paperless system  

If we want a paperless office should we look at the office in the Paperless office in a different way?

I did write a few other posts regarding this area called Attitude and a way of thinking which really does some this areas up.

Will we have to change our thinking and adapt the office to a paperless system or shall we adapt the hardware and the software to a accommodated the concept of the paperless office.

I think we should look at both areas and hopefully meet them in the middle;

I will write in the future how to change an office to accommodate a paperless system not stating which products are available but a comprehensive look at a potential design view to a medium size company.


Attitude and Way of thinking

There is an area that is of the most important and it would not matter if you had all the latest products and installed a new system this is the area of attitude and controlling the environment to achieve and accept a paperless office concept and system.

Looking back at what could be descried as a new way of achieving this attitude would be in the 1980’s when office layout became open plan. This changed the general attitude of the standard working office.

It’s this kind of thinking and attitude that will help the paperless office become a reality and a possible future way of thinking to make the paperless office a concept that will be acceptable

In the book (Harper and Sellen,2002);Myths of Paperless Office” a case study was observed and followed to the degree that a company changed all its office procedures and worked around the new installation of Paperless Office.

This action may seem to be rather extreme but in the real world could this be the way to handle and implement a Paperless Office System.

Not just taking the software packages or any new products and tell the staff how to use these tools but to encapsulate the whole experience and encourage this concept to all the aspects of the office environment.

One of the ideas that came out if this case study was the office implemented a total commitment to the concept and also to the green environmental issues.

It wanted to change there office procedure but felt that just saving spare or scrap paper was not enough so they introduced a new business plan that required a radical change and a new way thin thinking

The company’s decision was to change to a new way of thinking to a new level not just the standard savings which most companies have done with trying to be green with implementing small changes which could be introduced to any office or company.

The companies decision was totally there own and not all companies would have changed this radically obviously not all companies would have the ability to change the whole company and change the companies paperless office policies so each installation has to be viewed on there own merit.

The main items that have been established from this section are that of not all companies are at the same level or at the same point with there business plan to implement this change.

The decision has to be right for the company and every angle and possibility has to be taken into account when deciding to implement a Paperless Office System.

Basic Reading and Writing (Paperless)

As stated in the previous articles the web page design with regards to reading has indicated a deficiency but what about how the computer is used as a writing device for the concept of the Paperless Office.

Trying to make the Paperless Office a reality that it will play a part in the lives we live in regarding the office and work place could the problem be that we are trying to design an environment rather than a product or could this is the other way round that we are designing a product rather than an environment.

Is there some confusion to what has been designed so far believing that may be a software package will be adequate and to call it a paperless office?

Designing software which fits into our standard computers is this still only designing a non Ould (2007), management flow system which helps us to organise what is already in use but advertised and sold as an answer to the Paperless Office.

Instead of designing software could the answer be the hardware?

There can be a lot of descriptions meaning Hardware for the purpose of the article the author has indicated that the hardware will mean Computer screen, keyboard and the external hard drive. If we need to look at the hardware should we look at what we do in the office but has the design of the standard computer been left standing and become unsociable

We must start with the basics reading and writing how people interact with the keyboard and also the screen how we can improve the readability. Can we improve when we write on the screen can we feel the same feeling that we get form a piece of paper and a pen.

The paperless office will evolve itself believing that it is a simple as that. This may be a bold statement but changing the concept of what we call a home computer and also what we have in the work place which consist of a screen and keyboard.

The only main big difference is how you connect all the computers together and do you have enough space and is your main frame big enough. So what could the answers be to change the concept of how we read and write form a computer.


Could one of the answers be that making the screen designs a more interactive item at the moment its design is static changing the size of the screen. When reading from the screen everything in an oblong sense it’s a piece of paper on its side.

Making the screen detachable form the stand so you can actually move it around but at the same time still is able to read form the screen. Buttons could be placed on the side of the screen to keep you interactive with the screen, scroll up down etc, and move to the next page etc. The screen must be able to placed back in to the stand and be secure if you need to send a long time situated at your desk or table.

Design a reading software button that all written text weather in a web site or in a word document and PDF document spans to a white back ground and there are no distractions and if you want to read a report or an article it could be designed so it is as close as possible to reading a book.

Reading an article or a report it would be possible to physically take the screen from the stand and read it where ever you like. So you get the feeling of and the interaction of holding something when reading.

The software design of the pages and front etc will come in time people will be able to chose there own requirements to suite there own needs obviously we would assume that the older generation would want it as close as possible to the real thing but the new generation would not be so particular as there are already used to the age of the computer rather than books.


The keyboard is a writing implement and for some time now technology has used haptics Galvet, Charles, Stein (2004), of the screen to the relation of a technology pen this has been very up and down and when this was the first introduced, it was going to change the way we used the computer and unfortunately after a period of time the resolution of the type and writing was not good enough.

Was the technology pen misunderstood? Could this be the reason why, considering what we write and in what contents, social, work, fun, is the tech pen a real requirements.

What do we use a pen and paper form at the moment if you have to write a report would you start writing on a piece of paper or would you go straight to the word doc and start typing.

What would you want to write with a tech pen it would come in no more than four categories, impulsive, message, reminder, sub broken (note writing).

 Anything that is subject to continuous sentences and Para graphical would most be performed in a typed format. So there is a requirement for a tech pen but not to replace the more traditional pen.

The keyboard design is a major area that has to be addressed why has the keyboard design not changed over the years. The keyboard type sets still has this continuous number of buttons that are added to the keyboards most of them are not used and can be a complete waste of time.

What changes have happened to any electrical device that involves typing the only example that could be used is the mobile phone instead of using a standard type set the action involves a more pick process from a screen and button then traditional typing.

Placing the type set on the screen this can still be a difficult area to address the reason for this is that most reports and findings state that people do not like typing to the degree where they can not feel the button been pressed down.

Making the keyboard more electronic and displaying less buttons on the type set would help to minimise the structure of the keyboard .The principal of making a more hand held instrument than a flat based keyboard would take into account the problem of distant physical connection to the screen as discussed in the previous sections.

The main purpose for the these changes is not to change them for the sake of it but for the basic principals to be understood and the main reason is so the user can have a more interactive usage but at that the same time covering what the computer and all the aspects should be doing and that is making sure that the computer is designed for the bare essentials for reading and writing.

paper file

We all understand that managements flow systems may have helped the development of the paperless office system. But one of the areas that may still be behind is that of paper file.

Unfortunately the management flow systems does have it disadvantages it will help to store filing requirements but as in all office environment paper files will always have to be viewed and printed

What are the reasons for us to print a file is this because this has become the normal way of reading or is it because there has not been an alternative way to the level that is acceptable and sociable

Printing is a requirement for posting could it be for writing additional note on the file, or passing the information to a third party etc, there could be a lot of reasons why we need to print.

 The main three or four reasons that could contribute to a file are:

  • Reading
  • Posting
  • Physically checking the document
  • Viewing for internal and external usage

The file will always be a requirements a storage device that will keep documents long or short term.

The traditional file has normally been a lever arch file type but as technology grows will the paper file be a thing of the past.

One of the reasons which have been discussed in the previous chapters is that of sociability. Has an electronic file made the system an impact and can it replace the paper file.

External Influencing Factors

If we look at what could be any external influence’s that are effecting the potential growth of the paperless office?

We could state that technology to a certain degree is a part of all this or is it that the concept of the paperless office has not become a living part of our social lives yet.

Could we could compare this to the mobile phone industry, we all know that least 80% of the population will have or has had a mobile phone in some description.

Is this because this application is designed for a more social activity as the concept of the paperless office is amore ridge format dull and boring and only belongs in the office environment which is normally associated to duties that we have to perform not the duties that we want to perform.

Could the introduction of the I pad not as a product, but as a concept within its self have a revise impact i.e. Mainly designed for a social pastime and activity could the concept because the people want to use this product, some how have an inverted influence of the over all aspect of the concept.

We all know in time that the I pad will be copied and various products will be released in the near future this happens to all products within there lift cycle.

Could the next step be the obvious will the pad design replace the traditional computer design with a connection stand for static purpose and a plug in a traditional key board but still retain it’s overall purpose which you can physically move it around your home and use the touch screen applications in all it’s spender.

Could this be the way forward as the next step to make the concept a favourable aspect with the potential growth of the paperless office?

I do have mine own thoughts about what should be the next step or could assist the potential growth of the paperless office and in time these will be posted on my blog.