More than 30 years after Xerox guru George Pake predicted a "paperless office" by 1995, the dream is as elusive as ever. That's because the very computers that made paper theoretically obsolete, BusinessWeek notes, also brought us printers and copiers on practically every desktop. "The decision to print has gotten much closer to the owner of the document," says a paper economist.
But now the financial and environmental incentives to reduce paper are all the more evident, leading companies to push hard for solutions. Expect to see more and more restrictions on printers—making them less convenient cuts down use—fax machines disappearing, and even limits on how many pages each employee is allowed to print.