In 1983 when I started working in finance and business, I would have never imagined a world without paper, a world without signatures, mimeographs, carbon copies, typewriters, face-to-face meetings, shoeboxes full of receipts when you file your tax returns. In 1995 the US government initiated the PRA. The Paperwork Reduction Act. My father, a CPA, said, "It will never happen."
Today, my office is in my home. I work 100% remotely. I will often go for a week or more without picking up a pen to write down anything. The implement almost feels foreign in my hand.
We submit all of our contracts digitally; all of our documents are online. I was amazed when I was required to obtain an actual signature for a medical procedure and have it physically 'faxed' to a provider.
I have one small box for personal legal documents that I keep in a fire safe in my home. That's it. We live in extraordinary times.
When I first started here, my goal was a paperless office - but I figured it was a 10-year curve. Then, COVID, and the University pivoted to paperless literally over a weekend. It turns out it could be done - she said with her tongue firmly in her cheek.Here's the thing. About a month ago, we received an email from Purchasing saying "all those paper purchase orders (etc....) that you've been scanning and saving, get ready to send them to us." A) We didn't scan them and save them. They were born digital. If you need a paper copy, YOU print it. B) Do not take us backwards. Just no.It is remotely possible..... just a tiny bit possible..... that I had a little hissy fit about this. And there has been radio silence about returning to paper-based processes ;)But I do think this transition period back to campus has some risks in it. Heaven knows I don't want to say that good things came from COVID. But we did learn that we could do things that seemed impossible before. Let's not go backwards!
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