Moving to Greener Pastures - The Paperless Office
by Trish German
In less than 10 days, Mediaocean’s New York office will move to a location just across the street from where we sit now. Everything will be shiny and new, including the open floor plan and green initiatives. In this move, we are not only moving to a space that will promote collaboration, but we are also enacting many initiatives to make our office a greener space – in fact, the new office is LEED Gold-certified! Looking around my current office, though, I can already see that getting down to a single file cabinet drawer will be a bigger challenge than Katniss faced in the Hunger Games! We’ve talked the talk for the last 10-15 years, and now it’s time for us to walk the walk: go “paperless”.
As early as 1975, there were predictions that the “office of the future” would be paperless – computers and electronic mail would make printing hard copies a thing of the past. In 2000, the conversation gathered more steam and everyone touted the idea of a paperless workplace. It was on many New Year’s Resolution lists - all around the world, companies were setting up network drives to house all important documents and developing workflow tools (like our products, Aura and Prisma) that issued online notifications and routed work electronically through the organization for you. No need to print that off; no sir, just EMAIL it to me, please and thanks.
So where are we now? I’m happy to say: in a much better place. Electronic filing and document management have significantly decreased our paper consumption and have added great efficiencies to the workplace, making documents far easier to find and faster to access and distribute. Our company started a “Go Green” initiative in 2007 to reduce our environmental footprint. In 2007, we printed close to 5 million pages per year for our clients. By 2012, we dropped the number to 1.5 million. And now, we are just below 1 million.
Our agency clients are in a similar place – many agencies are making it a company-wide goal to go as paperless as possible in an effort to become LEED-certified, reduce costs, and streamline processes. One of our clients similarly moved its employees (1,200 people!) in 2010 from a very large space – with many personal offices and an abundance of filing space – to a smaller space with an open plan. No longer would they have 19 copies of the same invoice stored in different locations: just one copy, stored electronically, thanks in part, to our Mediaocean systems. With this effort, clients can significantly increase their business without adding printers, copiers, and all the associated cost and waste.
I realize that the world may never be 100% paperless - in some industries, SOX and other audit regulations have killed the 100% paperless office dream. However, in most cases, by using new technology and shedding bad habits, businesses around the world can significantly reduce their reliance on paper and greatly improve their efficiency, reduce costs and waste, and live and work a little bit greener.
Asking around, it seems like we at Mediaocean have made some great progress. And on that note, back to weeding through my files and on to the move! Come see us at our new space – I’ll be the one with the clean desk and the empty drawer!
Trish German is an Account Director at Mediaocean leading the team that specializes in our creative, production, and financial applications. She also works closely with our product development and new business teams. Trish was recently named as one of Mediaocean’s Brand Ambassadors.
Her passions include traveling, giving back (with a focus on education and women in technology) and most recently, blogging.