[LINK] Environment department used 30 sheets of paper per person per day
ivan at itrundle.com
Wed Jan 28 09:34:50 AEDT 2009
On 28/01/2009, at 9:06 AM, Jon Seymour wrote:
>> Why are you
>> printing out papers for meetings, when everyone has a netbook
>> computer and the meeting room is electronically equipped?
My daily work involves bringing people together to do just what you
describe above (and thus avoiding the use of paper).
For the first time in three years, a new client made a request that
I've never heard before: please bring your meeting technology, and
show *visible evidence* that you have a backup system which can work
if the computers fail (i.e. butcher's paper). Since the collaborative
systems that I use has never failed, it was a most unusual request,
and surprising given our record in delivering such services. As
expected, the paper that I brought to the event was left unused.
However, paperless meetings are not always possible (though we find
that they are almost all of the time) - we get a small and
undiminishing amount of resistance from those who prefer to have paper
to scribble on, or refer to as the meeting or event progresses.
There is something more visually compelling about an idea scrawled on
paper and passed around manually which doesn't always work in the
digital realm. Granted, there is an equally compelling case for the
opposite (where an idea added to a collaborative digital system is
shared across screens), but the beauty of the pen and paper method is
that it is more readily distributed to a select group, and is more
easily digested by some.
In my experience, an ideal meeting would involve everyone present (or
virtually present) having two laptops (not notebooks - screens not big
enough) each, and using one for the meeting system, and the other for
reference material - and a system which would allow them all to share
either screen with others, or to at least share the reference screen
with whoever they choose. Each laptop would need to have a screen of
A4 size, and as sharp and as bright as an A4 sheet of paper, and each
would be touch-assisted, and with an external keyboard for typing.
But back to the main issue: it's clear that the paperless office will
never exist, but how we choose to make best use of what is available
will dictate how we work.
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