Paperless office solutions include hardware and software that convert documents into digital data. Components of a paperless office include a fast document scanner and a computer.
Benefits of a paperless office include greater security of data, provided that it is backed up with redundant, off-site methods. In a paperless office, valuable records are not lost in the event of a fire. Using less paper is better for the environment, and it requires less storage space. Sufficiently backed up documents are less likely to be lost in weather incidents, accidents, or fire. Digital records are easier to search and share.
Many documents are created and maintained digitally in paperless offices. Bills, bank statements and other correspondence are received electronically. Documents are generated through hosted, web-based software and are not printed. Conversations between colleagues are conducted through collaborative software rather than via paper memos.
Computhink owns the trademark for the term "The Paperless Office" and first used it in advertising in 1994. Beginning in 2000, the use of paper in offices stopped increasing, and it is decreasing as of 2014. Younger workers are believed to be less likely to print out documents. An office worker creates about 2 pounds of paper waste each day, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.