As the pandemic winds down, businesses are still adapting to the “new normal” when it comes to office work. While many companies are choosing to allow remote working to continue to keep staff safer and to reduce overhead costs, some businesses are returning to the traditional office or implementing a hybrid office environment that consists of part remote work and part in-house activities.
The emphasis on more flexible attendance policies does not remove the need for safety protocols as the workforce gets back to business. To limit infection spread, some guidelines recommend restricting or limiting access to typical high-contact equipment such as office printers.
This turns out to be good advice.
Hloom researchers retrieved samples of bacteria from office surfaces, including the ubiquitous office printer/copier and tested them at an independent lab. The results were startling: The start button of an office machine had four times more bacteria than a pet’s food bowl. Specifically, it has 1,200,013 colony-forming units (CFUs) of bacteria, which is more than you find on an average school toilet seat — and it was the worst offender in the entire office.
While most offices don’t have the time or staff to ensure equipment is sanitized after every use, there is a simple way to fix the issue that will also provide your business with significant benefits that extend beyond employee health. The fix? Print management.
Print Management for Low-Touch Printing — and More
The office printer or multifunction device is the most-often touched equipment in an office environment, so it can be very difficult to keep clean. But print management programs offer a way to move toward low-touch printing to reduce germs — and bring added value to your office workflow. Here’s how:
- Low-Touch for Better Hygiene — and Health
Print management offers several ways to reduce contact with the office printer, from pull printing options to mobile printing. With pull printing, the print job is held in a digital queue and is released once the user gets to the printing device. Using this feature reduces gathering around the printer to wait for output (or search through jobs on the output tray) and allows employees to release the job without touching the printer.
If a user chooses mobile printing, they can send a print job from their mobile device directly to the printer, without the need for contact. Furthermore, print management can facilitate the maintenance, updating, and supplying of remote printers so staff in a remote or hybrid environment can use their home-based machine rather than a central office model.
- Better Print Security
The same functions that help keep printing contact-free also support better print security. Unguarded print documents in an output tray can leave sensitive information up for grabs. Pull printing ensures that documents only print when the authorized “owner” of the document is at the printer to receive them.
Most print management technologies support end-to-end encryption for data and come with significant cybersecurity protections for better data protection and compliance.
- Faster, Smoother Workflows
Even a little bit of automation in your workflows can improve productivity, reduce waste, reduce labor costs, and let you produce more jobs in a shorter period of time. With print management software, you can optimize business processes by removing human touchpoints that often result in error.
Specifically, automating the supply process can reduce the need to use valuable office space to store supplies while ensuring that each printer is replenished exactly when it needs to be — with the correct, high-quality supplies.
Trust Perry proTECH to Help You Create a Healthier Print Environment
Whether you are looking to create a low-contact print environment or harness the many benefits a managed print environment can bring to your business, you want to partner with a team you can trust.
With over half a century of experience, our team of print professionals understand the evolution of print management from its inception to the current technologies. We can carefully assess your current needs and challenges and design a managed print program that targets pain points and helps your company adjust more quickly to changing trends in office environments.
Thinking of ways to protect staff and boost productivity? Contact a Perry proTECH consultant and discover how our managed print services can help you do both.