Why You Should Ban Personal Printers in Office Settings

By: Marco
July 3, 2023

Every now and then, someone really needs a personal printer. For example, constantly running down the hall to print off all individual purchase or lease agreements at an auto dealership would be inefficient. 

But most of the time, personal printers lead to a remarkable amount of wasted supplies, wasted energy, and wasted space. If you’re searching for ways to trim your budget, personal printers are a great first place to look. 

Desktop Printers Don’t Have Key Features

Having a personal printer can be more convenient in some situations, but they don’t have advanced finishing or digital file-sharing options. If it’s really necessary to print something out in the first place, it’s often more efficient and productive to have a few multifunction devices that offer all the features your staff needs in convenient locations throughout your office. 

As a bonus, we’ve found that when an employee has to get up from their desk and walk to the printer, they’re far less likely to print unnecessarily. 

Desktop Printers in Offices Often Lack Cybersecurity

Hacked printer

Print security is a hot topic these days for a reason. Networked printers can serve as potential entry points for hackers to steal data, access your entire network, and even launch ransomware attacks. Even if personal printers throughout your office are equipped with modern security features, they must be set up and configured correctly, and doing that takes time. 

If your workplace is small, perhaps this doesn’t pose a problem for your IT folks. But if your organization’s print environment is more complex, unless you have a security-minded print provider, chances are good that one of your top cybersecurity risks could be an innocent-looking desktop printer.

Personal Printers Aren’t That Private

Perhaps the greatest reason to ban personal printers is data privacy. It seems counterintuitive, but just because a printer is in your office doesn’t mean that documents produced there won’t be seen by another staff member who stops by to chat when you’re away from your desk. 

In a print environment that utilizes multi-function printers (MFPs), there are security measures that can protect documents, even when they are located in common areas. Using secure pull printing, individual access codes, or ID-restricted access, your employees can print secure files to a device, but the job doesn't start until that employee enters a PIN or swipes an ID badge to initiate printing. Many of these security features may not be available on personal printers.

Space Is Limited for Desktop Printers in Your Office Setting

Even though they are compact devices compared to full-featured multifunction printers, a personal printer on one desk could lead to a slippery slope of additional employees requesting their own personal device in their workspace. If more employees are permitted to use personal printers, their available workspace shrinks, and the amount of room required to store supplies for various devices increases.

Using well-positioned MFPs throughout the office saves on workspace while consolidating the supplies required to operate and maintain those devices into a more compact environment.

You Suspect Your Print Costs Are High

The most obvious reason to ban personal printers is the inability to control print costs. Yes, personal printers are often less expensive at the point of initial purchase, but the recurring cost of supplies and of managing a fleet of various devices from different manufacturers (with different usage levels) makes personal printers more costly over time.

Multifunction devices placed throughout the office make it easier for your business to control what is printed, and the associated costs, in your print environment.

A Managed Print Provider Told You To

As a national managed print services (MPS) provider, personal printers are one of the biggest problems in most organizations’ print environments for all of the reasons we’ve listed here. Any print provider worth their salt has been championing their removal from most office settings for years. And yet, when we conduct our initial print assessment for a client (a free service), there they still are. 

Removing personal printers accomplishes many things, but to be fair, it’s not going to make you popular, at least right away. But hear us out — we can be the “bad guys” on your behalf.  And as a bonus, we can also make it easier for you to reduce costs, increase security, and reduce waste throughout your print fleet, and as an added bonus, the correct supplies can come to you exactly when you need them, without any of your employees having to lift a finger. 

Managed print services have definitely come a long way in recent years. Click the link below to read up. 

Learn More About Managed Print Services


Topics: Copiers & Printers