Using an in-house office shredder may seem like an economical solution, but it’s costing your business more than just dollars and cents. Using skilled employees for document destruction is a time-consuming process that contributes to lost productivity and expensive labour costs that add up over time.

Stop and think about this scenario for a minute:

Anytime an employee has paper to shred, they must stop what they are doing to complete the shredding task. This means that clients are left waiting, phone calls sit on hold, emails go unanswered and workflows are interrupted.

Since most office shredders can only handle small stacks of paper at once, employees must spend time removing staples and paper clips. Documents must also be arranged into easily-shredded portions or they’ll cause a frustrating jam.

Manually feeding paper into the machine and clearing blockages is laborious and there is a mess to clean up afterwards. When the shredder’s receptacle is full, it’s up to the employee to empty the bin and recycle the material, which is yet another chore.

By the end of the shredding task, precious work time has been wasted – and that’s just one employee with paper to shred.

Does this scenario sound familiar? If it does, your in-house shredding process is costing your organization valuable productivity by taking employees away from revenue-generating activities in favour of document destruction.

And this is true for businesses both big and small. Whether your company has a staff of 10, 50 or 100, if employees spend an average of two minutes per day shredding documents, it contributes to significant labour costs over time.

This chart shares a breakdown of the costs for offices of varying sizes:

Number of employees 10 50 100
Minutes per day of shredding for each employee 2 2 2
Average number of working days per month 22 22 22
Approx. time spent shredding per month (all employees) 7.5 hours 37 hours 73.5 hours
Average hourly wage1 $29.70 $29.70 $29.70
Total labour cost per month $222.75 $1,098.90 $2,182.95


If you thought that your office shredder was saving your company money – think again. The expensive labour costs that come from an employee-facilitated shredding process cut into your bottom line by taking staff away from important responsibilities that drive your business forward. As seen in the chart above, this perpetual decline in productivity adds up over the months – and these figures do not include equipment and maintenance costs, which are additional expenses to consider.

A better use of your employees’ time and talent is having them focus on revenue-generating responsibilities, while your company outsources document destruction to a professional shredding service. When you factor in your employees’ hourly wages and the loss of productivity, the cost of a paper shredding service is very reasonable.

By working with a NAID certified company, like Blue-Pencil, you’ll also have the peace of mind that your sensitive data is securely destroyed and recycled in compliance with Canada’s privacy laws.

Calculate Your Savings

Using our interactive calculator is a quick and easy way to determine whether an Office Shredding Program is more cost-effective and time-efficient than handling document destruction in-house. You’ll be surprised by how much you can save!

If you like what you see, you can try our Office Shredding Program risk-free for 30 days by contacting Blue-Pencil for a free quote.


1 Statistics Canada, Employee Average Hourly Wages (November 2020)