Ever Wonder What A Piece of Paper REALLY Costs?


Paper_325It doesn’t look like much.  Just 8.5 inches wide and 11 inches long – letter size.  It’s the most common size paper for office use in several countries, including Canada, Mexico, Bolivia, the Philippines, and of course, the United States.

 

A single letter size sheet of 10-pound pagers weighs 0.16 ounces.  Though paper prices vary, it’s safe to say a piece of paper cost around a ½ penny each.  Hardly anything when you think about it.

It’s just a piece of paper.

The origin of the dimensions of letter size is lost in tradition.  The American Forest and Paper Association argues that the dimension originates from the days of manual paper making, and the 11-inch length of the page is about a quarter of "the average maximum stretch of an experienced vatman's arms".

Ronald Reagan made the 8 ½ x 11 the official paper size of United States federal forms in the early 1980’s.

It’s just a piece of paper.

A vertical filing cabinet holds on average 3,500 sheets of paper per drawer or about 14,000 sheets in a 4-drawer filing cabinet.  There are over 4,000,000,000,000 (4 trillion) paper documents produced each year in the U.S. alone.

According to a study by the accounting firm Price Waterhouse:

  • 70% of office staff time is spent processing paper documents
  • 15% of all paper documents are misfiled or misplacedStackPaper_250
  • 30% of documents used daily contain obsolete information
  • 40% of worker’s time is spent searching for misfiled, misplaced, or lost documents
  • Paper grows at 25% per year in the typical organization, meaning that it will double in just over three years time!

And yet, it’s just a piece of paper.

Though paper prices vary, it’s safe to say a piece of paper cost around a ½ penny each.

  • 7.5% of all documents get lost
  • A typical office that generates 200 documents a week will lose 15 of them, costing the company $3300
  • A sample office generating 200 documents a week will misfile 6 of them, costing the company $720
  • 50% of a professional’s time is spent looking for information. At $30…$40…$50…per hour, it tends to add up.

Ever wonder what “a piece of paper” is costing you?