The Paperless Office

THE PAPERLESS OFFICE….John Quiggin says the death of the phrase “paperless office” came in 2001, with the release of a book by Abigail Sellen and Richard Harper called The Myth of the Paperless Office. Maybe so. But when I went to work in the document imaging industry it was already a cynical joke amongst ourselves that the paperless office would arrive at about the same time as the paperless bathroom. And that was in 1992.

Of course, it’s not as if we were advertising this to people outside the industry. Just a private recognition of reality between ourselves, you understand. And in any case, the joke lost its punch when paperless bathrooms became a surprising reality — and not just in tech crazy Japan. Helen Pidd tried one out in London last year and called it “the best toilet experience of my life.” So maybe, as John suggests, the paperless office isn’t so far off after all.

Washington Monthly - Donate today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation