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Print popularity returns

June 2, 2017

Eye fatigue caused by staring at the computer screen for too long has caused office workers to return to the printed word.

Biz Community reported that according to a study carried out by Epson Europe more than 2,400 personnel throughout the EMEA have returned to the printed page and said that 73 percent of South Africans printed approximately 36 pages per day showing that paper still plays “a major part in how we work”.

The article noted that when skimming an article the screen is easier but when more in depth reading is required people prefer print and that in the work place the most common printed items are invoices and letters which have a higher content of heavy text and “legal information”.

Other research shows that emails are sent and received at a rate of 123 a day and this will grow to 126 by 2019 and accounts for attachments from emails being printed and making up 45 percent of the printed items in offices. It was also noted that legal documents and contracts made up 40 percent of printed copy as many people require hard copy and that people want “proof of purchase” from banks and ticket offices for peace of mind.

Reading from print creates a higher level of understanding and learning, said one scientific report, and information is more readily retained and learnt than on screen because users can flip through the pages which cannot be replicated on screen despite flip magazines as there is still the sense of touch that goes with reading the printed word and supports the understanding phase known as “haptic dissonance” which means to grasp something.

The brain becomes more tired when screen reading and is put under more stress compared to reading from paper revealed another study which also said that the brain functions for much longer when reading from paper with less disturbances than on screen where emails and notifications pop up as well as the distraction from social media.

The article concluded by saying that productivity is determined by what works and quoted Jack Uldrich a futurist who said: “Every technology has unique and tangible benefits, and paper is no different. Arguably, paper is the greatest instrument ever invented for conveying, sharing and disseminating information.”


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