Working in an office comes with all sorts of responsibilities and best practices. There are lots of little challenges that you are likely to face each day, some of which can become quite the bug bear.
Printer etiquette is one big bug bear and it is something that causes confusion and conflict in offices up and down the UK.
To give you an insight into proper print etiquette, here is part one of our guide:
When you are printing out long reports or you have a big job with multiple copies, make sure that you communicate with your colleagues. They may have a one-page document they need to print in time for the 10 o’clock meeting but haven’t done so yet because it is a 30 second job. If you then jump the gun with a 42 page report, it is unfair and likely to cause friction, if not panic. In the name of common courtesy, give your colleagues a five minute warning before you tie up the printer with a big job and ask them if they are ok with it.
Print in waves:
If you have what could be considered as an unreasonably large print job, try to break it up into waves. By taking a job that requires 200 copies and breaking it up into 10 lots of 20, you will free up the printer for your colleagues’ smaller jobs in between. Again, this sort of common courtesy will go a long way in a work environment.
Respect orderly queues:
Queuing is something the British do well, be it for the Number 2 Bus or at the grocery store checkout. The same should go when collecting your documents from the printer. If there is a queue of people waiting to pick up documents they printed around the same time, wait your turn. Even if you know your prints are before Jan from Accounts’ report because she printed her stuff after you, you shouldn’t cut the queue if she was there first. More often than not, those who are ahead in the queue will dish out prints that come before their own or they will offer for you to nip in and look too, but you should never presume.
Understanding and being able to carry out basic printer maintenance is an important part of working in an office. Even though your department or company may have a dedicated technical or printer expert, you should take some responsibility for ensuring the technology you use runs as smoothly as possible on a daily basis. If the paper is jammed, unjam it. If the paper, toner or ink is low then replace it. Make sure you know the basics when it comes to common problems and ensure you have access to printer supplies.
It is always best to be prepared and in a fast-moving, forever-printing office environment this is even more important. There should be a dedicated area in your office for printer supplies like paper and ink. This stock should always be near full and regardless of whether one or several individuals are responsible for ordering supplies, whoever goes into the supply cupboard and sees something is running low should secure replenishments. It is easy to keep a stock of the main printing supplies and it is often more economical to buy multiples than to buy on an “as and when” basis; just bulk buy paper and invest in large quantities of cheap ink cartridges.
When you are busy at work, the last thing you want to deal with is having to change the ink or fix a paper jam, especially if you’ve just arrived to pick up your prints and they’re fine. However, taking a minute out to sort something yourself instead of leaving it for someone else to fix is the best way to keep office operations running smoothly. Taking responsibility for things goes back to common courtesy; just as you would like someone to sort out a jam that was preventing your prints, you should fix a problem as and when you see it so that others can print what they need when they need it.
Pick up prints ASAP:
Whether you have printed a quick single sheet or a big book-length job, you shouldn’t leave your documents to pile up on the printer. Once you’ve hit “print” you should start getting up to go and retrieve the job from the printer. Not only does this ensure that the printer stays clear (and less likely to jam or overflow), it also means there is less chance that you will forget about your prints.
Fix things quickly:
Try not to fuss too much when you have to fix or replace something in the office printer. Work environments move at a mile a minute or faster, so dawdling or stopping for a quick chat on the way back from the supply cupboard can have a real knock on effect and leave people stressed at the backlog the printer has to get through. Even if your particular print job isn’t urgent, assume that everyone else’s is.
In the event of a paper jam, an ink outage or some form of technical fault with the printer, you should communicate with your colleagues quickly and clearly. The sooner everyone knows about a printer issue, the sooner they can cancel their jobs and reroute to an alternative. This frees the printer up and makes it easier to fix. The same goes for reporting any technical faults to designated parties; the sooner they know about it, the sooner they can fix it.
These points are just the start of proper print etiquette. The main message here is forward planning, common courtesy and common sense. For all other printer related issues, you can get in touch with Prink and make the most of our great range of printer ink cartridges and supplies.