Organisations in the education sector are the furthest away from achieving paperless working, new research has found.

A survey of 1,000 workers, conducted by WorkMobile, found that those working in the education sector rely the most on paper (80 per cent), followed by the finance sector (68 per cent) and the construction and utilities industries (67 per cent).

A third of businesses in the education sector and construction and utilities have taken no steps to even reduce their usage. However, the finance industry is trying to become less reliant on paper, with 77 per cent of companies implementing paper-saving processes.

The poll was carried out as part of WorkMobile's 'Death of the paper trail report', which investigates the sectors that are still reliant on paper-based processes, and the pitfalls that businesses often encounter by working in this way.

"With so much technology at our fingertips, it’s surprising and disappointing to see that companies are still relying so heavily on paper-based processes like printing documents and posting mail, and are not introducing the most basic of steps to reduce the use of paper," said chief support officer Colin Yates.

"Over recent years, there has been a lot of focus on becoming more environmentally friendly as a society and reducing wastage to protect the planet. But despite attempts by government organisations and campaigners to raise awareness around the implications of using paper and cutting down trees, it’s clear that a large number of businesses are still not taking note.

"Technology has advanced way beyond clunky fax machines and printing out hundreds of documents on a daily basis. And with more and more employees now working remotely  using mobile devices, we shouldn’t be using so much paper.

"Companies must look to introduce paper-less policies to improve internal processes and make for greater efficiencies and accuracies. The future of their businesses could well depend on it."

According to the research, the legal sector, which is often perceived as traditional in its processes, is ahead of other sectors with 80 per cent of employees saying their bosses have introduced paperless working.