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Bringing home to the workplace

February 13, 2019

A new study has revealed that more than one and a half billion personal documents are being printed at work – with over three quarters of Brits admitting to it.

Business Computing World revealed that due to a fall in consumers owning home printers, 77 percent of Britons now “regularly” print personal documents at their workplace – averaging at thirteen pages per person, per month.

The research was conducted by UK-based online technology retailer Ebuyer, and sought to explore “the true cost of personal printing at work,” as well as discovering how many businesses charge staff for personal printing.

18 percent of Brits, nearly one in five, said they print personal documents on a work printer once a month, with a further 13 percent admitting to doing it “multiple times a week.” As few as 6 percent revealed they use work printers for personal errands “less than once a year.”

Based on the assumed figure of 12,576,000 office workers, according to employment data from the Office of National Statistics, Ebuyer concluded that there was resultantly around 1.5 billion pieces of personal printing happening in the workplace every year.

In terms of the gender split, 86 percent of men admitted to personal printing at work, compared to 71 percent of women; furthermore, men printed 15 personal documents per month on average, whereas women printed an average of 11.

Looking at the likely reasons for this trend, BCW reported that only 16 percent of workers are charged by their company for personal printing, with 64 percent revealing their office has no personal printing policy, and a further 20 percent being unaware if their employer has one or not.

“More and more of us are forgetting to have a good work-life balance by not keeping our work and home life separate, which could be why so many people are printing their personal documents at work,” said Ebuyer Commercial Director Lee Weymouth. “However, this volume of printing will be creating a lot of incurred costs for businesses, big and small, with each piece of printing adding up.”

Weymouth suggested how to help cut down your business’ printing costs, and further separate the work-life balance: “Where you can, email or scan documents to save paper, or use a friend or family member’s printer at the weekend or after work. This might also lighten your workload as you’ll only be focusing on work during your office hours.”

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