Majority of UK workers blast ‘ridiculous’ reliance upon paper, says research


Over half (52%) of UK workers consider their company’s overreliance on paper ‘ridiculous’, with more than two thirds (70%) wanting their company to be more conscious about the impact this has on the environment. That’s according to new research from content services provider Hyland. 

With the vast majority of UK businesses (92%) still relying on paper documents, the study of 1,000 full-time UK workers shows that half (50%) of professionals actively feel guilty about their company’s paper usage, with a further 55% deeming their company’s current volume of paper consumption “unnecessary.” Additionally, 69% specifically want their organisation to offset the amount of paper it uses through tree planting initiatives.

For the majority of workers, the solution is digital. Nearly three quarters of respondents (73%) believe that transitioning to a digital document management system would significantly enhance their company’s sustainability. With more than half (58%) reporting that their company’s existing document management system is not up to scratch, it appears that the limitations of legacy technologies are partially perpetuating the paper problem. 

Speaking about the new research, Tim Hood, VP for EMEA & APAC, Hyland, said: “The majority of British workers agree that the volume of paper usage in this country is unreasonable. The demand to change things is high, driven by a conscientious desire to operate more sustainably – there are genuine moral grounds to consider technological solutions to the UK’s paper problem. 

“Addressing both paper usage problems and a wider dissatisfaction with existing digital management system requires digital solutions that offer better interoperability, improved efficiency, and true ease of use. These qualities aren’t just about efficiency anymore; it’s about aligning progress with planetary responsibility.”


Survey of 1,001 full-time UK office workers across a variety of industries including finance, healthcare, IT, and the public sector. Research fielded between November 2023, conducted by Censuswide.

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