The average U.S. business uses much more than 1-2 pages a month, however, and costs associated with using paper in the workplace add up quickly.
Following are our working figures for calculating the cost of paper annually, per employee:
- The average office worker uses 20 reams of copy paper annually @ $6 ream. Paper = $120/employee
- The average cost of black ink is $.04/page ($.13/page for color). Ink = $520/employee
- Assuming 5% of your paper is mailed. 500 pages mailed in 83 envelopes. Postage = $36/employee
- 2 Minutes of labor for each mailed envelope @ $10/hour. Labor = $27.39/employee
- 14,080 pieces of paper fit into the average file cabinet. Assuming 5% of your paper is filed and stored for 3 years equals 1,500 pages/employee. At $27/month sq foot rent the cost of a file cabinet is $54. Annual Storage = $60.72/employee.
Total Cost Annually = $764.11/employee
Add up these cost estimates and the cost of the average employee’s paper use in the United States totals $764.11/employee annually. Suddenly, it becomes easier to see how U.S. businesses spend $120Billion annually on forms alone. For consumers using only small quantities of paper annualy, paper is cheap. For businesses, paper is anything but.