Earlier this month, Adobe released the findings of a study regarding the transition to paperless workplaces. Called  "Paper: An endangered species?" the report was based on survey data collected from 1,051 managers at small, medium and large companies across the United States.

The report shows that many managers view paperless record keeping and documentation as preferable to paper. Around 71 percent stated that going paperless was more environmentally conscious and modern, and 74 percent felt that paperless documents were easier to send and receive. Approximately 60 percent of respondents also believed that password-protected digital documents were more secure than paper documents locked in filing cabinets. 

What is most interesting about the study is the disjunction between the beliefs of managers and the actual practices of the companies for which they worked. The study found that 67 percent of managers felt that paper contracts were more likely to be altered or tampered with and 73 percent reported that they saw value in paperless work flow for contracts; however, only 2 percent used completely paperless contracts. Around 18 percent of managers reported that they collected signatures on documents digitally instead of on paper.

Clearly, finding ways to transition to paperless contracts would be better for the planet and also preferable to many managers. It seems that most companies, however, are still struggling to make the leap. Has your company instituted paperless systems for contracts? If so, tell us about it in the "Comments" section. If not, what's standing in your way?

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