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Paper is here to stay

83% of Europeans state “paperless office is unrealistic”

Paperless offie fails to materialise despite increasing workplace digitalisation, new research reports
Paperless office fails to materialise despite increasing workplace digitalisation, new research reports

Paperless office fails to materialise despite increasing workplace digitalisation, new research reports.

More than 35 years have passed since British-American information scientist, Frederick Wilfrid, first envisioned a ‘paperless office’ in 1978. Today, the reality is that printers continue to be used daily and, according to an independent survey of over 3,600 European employees commissioned by Epson Europe, 77% of respondents stated that printers were vital in terms of helping them work more productively with an overwhelming majority (83%) felt a “paperless office is unrealistic”. In fact, of the 4% that said they didn’t have a printer in their office, half of them were intending to get one.

“It is clear from our research that – despite digital advances – people still like to work with paper, preferring print rather than working on-screen for certain tasks,” said Rob Clark, Senior Vice President of Epson Europe. The research found that 88% of respondents said they printed an average of 21 items per day with the most popular printed items being reports closely followed by email attachments and emails themselves.

“The reality is organisations need printing to not only help employees work more effectively but reap wider productivity and environmental benefits too,” highlights Clark. “With inkjet printing for example, organisations can achieve up to twice as many prints while producing 95% less waste and with much lower energy consumption compared to similar sized laser printers and copiers.”

Renowned global futurist, Jack Uldrich, adds: “the paperless office hasn’t materialized for the same reason that microwave ovens didn’t replace all traditional ovens. Every technology has unique and tangible benefits, and paper is no different. Arguably, paper is the greatest instrument ever invented for conveying, sharing and disseminating information. In fact, recent scientific studies have demonstrated that people understand and retain information presented on paper at a far higher level than information presented electronically.” This may explain why 61% of survey respondents said that they believe “there is more chance of making errors when editing an electronic document than editing a print-out.”

“New technologies are of course changing the way people work. At Epson, for example, we see this with our wearable and projector based technologies. But when it comes to reading, editing and sharing documents like reports, emails, and attachments, office workers, from baby boomers to millennials, still prefer the tangible printed version,” Clark concludes.

As part of its plans for growth within the business printing market, Epson has developed the WorkForce Pro RIPS (Replaceable Ink Pack System) range. These printers offer businesses a series of inkjet products that deliver uninterrupted printing for up to 75,000 pages without the need for a consumables change. The new products are expected to help Epson further accelerate the shift from laser to inkjet within the business printing market.

The Replaceable Ink Pack System has been developed to help businesses take advantage of the convenience benefits of a localised printer fleet, but with the predictable costs of a centralised model. The products are also designed to address the impact of printer downtime and maintenance issues within the workplace – a productivity loss estimated to currently stand within the region of €7 billion per annum across EU5 businesses.

The RIPS range includes an A3 model that addresses a gap in the market for A3 business inkjet printers. The full product range is the result of a €125 million investment into production facilities in Japan, enabling Epson to move high-end industrial print head technology into the volume market.

For further information please contact Epson on 0844 409 8010 or see

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