However far into the digital age we are, a printer will never be obsolete in an office. It’s one of the foremost implements needed to keep departmental operations running smoothly, and to boost organization and productivity among employees. Nowadays, we’ve also seen humble desktop printers evolve into top-grade multifunctional machines—some of which are Bluetooth-compatible and capable of photocopying, faxing, and scanning as well as printing.
But higher-class technology isn’t the only thing you should factor in when you’re shopping for a new office printer. Make the most out of your options by deciding on the following things:
- The general pace in your office. This is the first thing you should think about before purchasing a new printer. What kind of office do you work in? How much paperwork do you oversee daily, and of what type? Will your printer be used mostly for black-and-white cases, ledgers, or forms? Or will you need high-quality color printing for mockup images? Ultimately, you will be basing your decision on how best the printer can supplement the office’s workflow.
- The type of printer. Narrow it down to what level of performance you expect from your printer. Will you need a multifunction printer with great flexibility, or just a black-and-white workhorse that can print high volumes on a large duty cycle?The two most popular types of printer in a regular office are the laser printer and the inkjet printer. Laser printers are the type that can quickly churn out uniform documents at a high speed. Inkjet printers, on the other hand, take a longer time to print, but guarantee vivid and clear print quality.
- Sourcing affordable hardware and supplies. When you purchase the printer, you will also need to compute the total cost of ownership. That includes the unit, proper hardware and software, and supplies like paper and ink.One way to save money while ensuring high print quality for your documents is to purchase remanufactured ink and toner. Instead of shelling out more money for expensive branded cartridges, you can opt to choose a remanufactured cartridge that’s been properly cleaned out, filled with new ink, refurbished with chip contacts, and readily compatible for use with your printer model.
- The printer’s connectivity. Several modern varieties of printer are also equipped with wireless or Bluetooth functionality. If you and your officemates work in a smaller, high-tech environment (such as that of a tech startup), you can opt for a model that can print from smartphones and tablets.If this kind of investment isn’t for you, however, you should purchase a workhorse network printer that everyone can access through your office’s local area network (LAN). This is the tried-and-tested setup that works best for most big departments that need to streamline their work.
- How much space the printer will take up. Size does matter when choosing a new printer—where will you place it in the office, and how easy will it be to move around when your new printer is installed? Suffice to say, don’t choose a very big device if your office is small and cramped. Also decide where in the workstation the printer should be located, so that it is readily accessible to those who need it.
- Ease of use. Don’t forget the human element to buying new office equipment. Is it sure to make life easier for you and your officemates, considering the amount of work you do? Will even the certified “oldies” in your office be able to maneuver the printer? Choose a unit that can adjust to the skill level, convenience, and working pace of everyone in the department. That will help boost your productivity and bring you collective ease of mind, instead of slowing you down.
In the case of printers, there’s no such thing as a universal model. All offices have unique core competencies to fulfill, and different methods of successfully executing core tasks. So, when you next step into the store to buy a printer, look for something that you can deem perfect—that is, for you and your own office.