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ASB's high tech office breaks workplace traditions

Divina Paredes | Dec. 18, 2013
ASB's new head office environment means employees can work anywhere, with the device of their choice, and printers are often on respite. CIO New Zealand takes a tour of North Wharf in Auckland's Wynyard Quarter.

"The idea was nobody had to print anything," says Jones, as he and Bergin move to an area housing a cluster of printers. "If you walk around there is very little paper," observes Bergin.

Notably absent are paper brochures and teller counters. In their place are interactive technologies designed to help customers explore new ways to do banking.

The paperless environment is ideal, he says, but it is a bit of a dream. "I have everything I need here, why do I need to print?"

"The desire to print is removed, you can't be paper independent without removing the demand for paper," says Bergin.

Bergin says in the first few weeks, people were taking backups and printing documents "just in case". He says this stopped as people know they can work seamlessly across the building.

ASB is also implementing 'follow me printing' where the bank pays its multi-function device supplier only for images they print. The document is printed only when the employee scans the printer. Bergin explains that a printing job "expires" or is cancelled if it is not picked up within two days. In the latest statistics, he says 30 per cent of print jobs were abandoned. "Not only do we see printing drop but people are actually thinking they need to print it and realise they don't need to print it."

Bergin himself does not recall printing any document since moving in the building six months ago, and Jones recalls printing a document only five to six times during that period.

Indeed, Jones observes that he and Bergin have been standing beside the cluster of printers for 10 minutes in a busy part of the building and none of the printers has been spewing documents all this time. Bergin grins, "Incredible, isn't it?"



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