Lockdown may have helped kill off paper documents for good

Remote Working
(Image credit: Lenovo)

Remote working may seized the spotlight during the last year, but there are other, equally profound changes to office life going on as well. 

A new report from Foxit claims that the pandemic has also sped up the transition into the paperless office. Polling more than 2,300 business leaders and employees on their day-to-day business activities during the pandemic, Foxit,a provider of PDF products and services, found that the need for paperless office processes increased for two-thirds (67%) of the respondents. 

At the same time, just 1.2% said it declined.

Growing paperless demand

For more than two-thirds (68%) of the poll’s respondents, PDF solutions became more important in communicating with their customers. The report also found that almost half (42%) started reading more PDFs on their mobile devices since the start of the pandemic. 

Furthermore, more than half of the respondents (59%) said they now need PDF editing software more than ever before. Less than half of a percent said the opposite.

More than half (53%) said the need for e-signature technologies grew in the past 12 months.

“Paper was already becoming passé in many organizations, but this pandemic has dramatically accelerated its demise,” said Frank Kettenstock, chief marketing officer of Foxit Software. 

“PDF editing and associated technologies, such as e-signature solutions, have become essential to the way people work and conduct business. As with many other changes hastened by Covid-19, the shift away from paper and toward more digital PDF processes will have a lasting effect on organizations around the world.”

These things did not affect people’s productivity, at least not in a negative way, the report also uncovered. While 71% said they were working remotely during the pandemic, less than one in five (18%) said their productivity declined during that time. Still, for almost half (43%), the pandemic has made work more difficult. 

“Thankfully, digital technologies, and most certainly PDF, have allowed many workers and businesses to remain highly productive and engaged during a challenging year,” said Kettenstock. “We believe the digital lessons learned during this pandemic will pay important dividends as we move beyond the Covid lockdown.”

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.