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Member Roundtable: How will returning to the office impact printing in the workplace?

By October 28, 2021 No Comments

As employees return to the office full-time or via a hybrid work model, how will this impact printing in the workplace? We asked some of our members to provide insights on this topic.

Mike Scrutton, Director of Print Technology & Strategy, Adobe

Firstly, not everyone will return to the office – or at least many companies will be flexible, and hybrid working arrangements – where people work some days from the office and some days from home – will become more common. From an IT infrastructure perspective, that means that any phone, tablet, and laptop needs to be able to print to any printer, whether you’re at home or at work. You’ll also want to be able to print from home to the office printer so that you can pick up your prints when you visit. Cloud-based infrastructure will be core to enabling this flexibility, and increasingly PDF will be used as a ‘device independent’ portable document that can be printed anywhere.

 

Ingrid Kelly, Strategic Alliances, HP Inc.

Over the last several years, the work equation has changed and hybrid office and home environments are here to stay. The pandemic has shown us that people who didn’t have printers went and bought/upgraded printers and people continue to want to print where and when they want to print. In 2021 and beyond, more rapid adoption of print on the go and touchless printing via mobile devices and badges will occur in the office, home, and local coffee shops and additional print services that allow IT departments to arm their employees with secure, company-approved print solutions will show growth in order to meet the needs of the new normal.

 

Eric McCann, Manager, Software Marketing, Lexmark

We expect organizational printing to return to pre-pandemic levels, allowing paper-based processes to be digitized as much as possible, with offices still relying on paper for business-critical scenarios.

 

 

Kris Iverson, Principal Development Manager, Microsoft

At Microsoft, we believe the workplace fundamentally changed. This year proved enterprises will remain productive with a remote workforce. The workforce will be more transient and use more mobile device form factors. Printing needs to adapt to this hybrid model with enterprises offering managed print solutions to workers both on-premises and in remote locations. Our software will raise the bar on security and help enterprises move quickly to zero-trust networks while ensuring employees print securely with features like PIN release, printing only to enterprise printers, etc.

 

Philip Mazzilli, Staff Product Manager, Printers & Imaging, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
Print volumes will increase in the workplace steadily throughout this year, before leveling off at a bit lower than where they were pre-pandemic. Office printing will not return to pre-pandemic levels, as many businesses have invested in digital tools that replace paper-based processes and some users have adapted to doing certain tasks without needing to print. But the drop in office printing compared to pre-pandemic levels shouldn’t be too sharp. Many who may have been hesitant to print on their home printer during work-from-home will be happy to print on their office copier. Often the office copier is viewed as a “free” resource, while a home printer is viewed as a direct expense.

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