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.

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