Nitro Blog

3 Ways Paper is Part of the Productivity Problem


In 2017, there’s a question you need to be asking yourself: Does paper have too much power over processes in my organization? According to 2016 AIIM paper-free research, only 25% of respondents indicated they ran a paperless environment. As a discussion that’s been popular since the 1980s, why is it taking so long for organizations to replace paper and opt for digital when the ROI is so clear?

What’s paper costing you?

While the operational and environmental costs of paper across offices is staggering, so is the impact on worker productivity:

  • Document workflow inefficiencies cost employees 20% of overall productivity
  • More than 70% see paper as a continued organizational obstacle
  • More than 50% see inconsistency in workflow and collaboration
  • One in three workers use a scanner, printer, and copier 10+ times a day and receive 10+ attachments each day

Most workers are running into time-consuming, wasteful paper processes when it comes to reviewing, signing, and sharing documents. For most organizations, these are the foundations of running smooth operations both internally and on a customer-facing basis. Are you letting paper bog down processes that could be streamlined by adopting a digital document solution?


Personal review and collaborative editing are central to completing daily tasks and wrapping up complex projects, but paper proves to be at the core of inefficiencies.Twenty-seven percent of workers print PDF documents in order to review them, and 63% then convert those printouts back into a digital format to email them. What’s more troubling is 92% of workers collaborate on and review documents through email, which often results in sharing the wrong version or working on an outdated draft.

This costs 11+ hours of time wasted each week creating and managing documents. Imagine if your staff could spend less time between their desks and the printer, not to mention be sure they were marking up the right version of a document? Huge wins for productivity and accuracy.


For many organizations, collecting signatures is a common frustration thanks to the typical workflow of receiving, printing, fetching, signing, scanning, attaching, and finally, emailing. This results in 6+ hours spent each week approving and signing documents. Not to mention, it takes 3+ days to collect a physical signature.

By opting for digital signatures, workers wouldn’t need to leave their desks, wait on signatures, or rely on paper. Instead, it would be as easy as opening a PDF, digitally signing, and sharing in the cloud. This means your staff can close deals faster, speed up processes, and waste less paper.


Cluttered desks, misfiled documents, limited storage–are these problems familiar to your organization? With 91% of workers storing work-related documents on their desktop, their company server, or in paper filing cabinets, the room for error and high costs is endless. On top of that, workers spend 3.5 hours each week filing and organizing documents with an addition 5 hours spent searching for documents.

By opting for digital documents and cloud solutions, these bottlenecks would no longer be a productivity risks across departments. Sharing, collaborating, and safely storing documents are huge wins for organizations looking to streamline workflows and promote paperless initiatives.

Your Path to Paperless

What if you could regain 20% of productivity currently drained by these paper-based workflows? Think of the resources that could be delegated to achieving better business outcomes, bringing on more staff, or simply running a leaner organization. By embracing a full set of PDF editing tools, paper no longer needs to play a role in these crippled workflows. Instead, these critical daily processes can be completed digitally–making your efficiency soar.

Want to learn what your organization can achieve with the right PDF editor? Explore Nitro PDF Pro’s features.

Ready to work smarter with documents? Talk to our sales pros.