What used to be a progressive company policy quickly turned into a necessity this year. The first quarter of 2020 saw many companies having to implement a work-from-home solution to keep employees productive during the COVID-19 pandemic. Remote work was gaining popularity over the last decade but will now become part of the new normal for knowledge workers. By 2019, a survey by OWL Labs found that about 18% of people work remotely full time. Only 38% never worked from home.
The benefits of allowing employees to telecommute extend to both employers and employees. Some studies suggest that remote employees work 1.4 days more every month. This may not be true for a company implementing a new work-from-home strategy, but if the employee has the right tools and digital infrastructure available, it can boost productivity. One element every remote worker will need is a home office printer.
How to Choose the Best Home Office Printer for Remote Work
To ensure employees can operate productively at home, they’ll need access to the same equipment they have in the office. If the employee only worked from home sporadically, it may not have been necessary. For 100% remote work, employees will need to scan documents or receipts, print forms, copy documents, and in the rarest of cases, still send a fax.
Home office printers are different from their corporate cousins. These devices don’t need to provide all the functionality a large workgroup printer will have. Selecting the best printer for a remote worker depends on the tasks they’ll be executing. Here are the top four considerations when choosing the best printer for remote workers.
1. Calculate the Printing Costs
If the employee will only print a few pages a week, the cost-per-print will be negligible. When they have to print a few hundred, the printer’s speed and operating costs can quickly add up. Knowing the volume of prints required will help the company determine what printer is suitable for which job function. Considering the cost of supplies, the overall power consumption, and the print capacity can help establish the cost-per-print before making a decision.
2. Check the Price of the Device
Whether the company is making the investment or employees buy the printer for themselves, they should also consider the device cost. A less-expensive device may produce lower quality prints, require more maintenance, or come with high operating costs. It’s important to consider the long-term strategy for remote work when assessing the different models available. If the employee will be working remotely temporarily or infrequently, then a cheaper device will suffice. For employees who’ll work from home for extended periods, it’s better to look at a higher-end device that will work long into the future.
3. Study the Functions and Features
Home office printers come with different sets of features. While most can scan, print, and copy, it’s important not to assume they support these functions. Checking for the exact features will prevent making the wrong choice. Another feature to check is the networking capabilities on the device. Very few homes still use LAN networks, so ensuring it has Wi-Fi connectivity available should also factor into the decision. Additional features to look for include duplex printing and scanning, scan-to-email, and color or black and white printing.
4. Verify Compatibility with Operating Systems
Although many printers come with standard compatibility for different operating systems, this may not always be the case. Verify that the printer supports the home office’s Operating System (OS). In some cases, special drivers may be required or it may not support some features in a specific OS.
Recommended Home Office Printers for Remote Work in 2020
The considerations above will help companies choose the right device for remote workers. One additional consideration to keep in mind is device security. With Cybercrime on the rise, printers will need enhanced security.
Here are three of the best home office printers for remote workers in 2020:
- Canon Pixma TR8550 – This Multifunction Device (MFD) is a 4-in-1 color printer for up to A4 size prints. It produces vivid color photos, comes with generous touch screen display, and supports up to 15 pages per minute. The tray can hold 100 sheets and has Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity. It’s an affordable solution but costs more to operate.
- Brother MFC-J53330DW – If the remote employee needs to print larger than A4 sizes, the Brother All-in-One MFD is the best option. It supports A3 color prints, speeds of 22 pages per minute, and a paper capacity of 250 sheets. While it may cost more upfront, it uses inkjet cartridges, which are cheaper to purchase.
- HP LaserJet Pro MFP M227fdw – For a long-term solution that requires many prints, the HP LaserJet Pro can print rapidly at 28 pages per minute. It comes with enhanced HP security, has a 300-sheet capacity, and produces crisp black and white A4 prints.
Enable the Remote Workforce with Multifunction Devices from Cartridge World
Cartridge World can help equip any remote workforce with a range of MFDs and productivity solutions. We can also provide the necessary supplies and help keep devices operating reliably and safely. For companies that need to enable a remote workforce and keep their employees productive while working from home, Cartridge World can assist.
If you need to find out more about which are the best printers for remote work, get in touch with Cartridge world today.