Location considerations when setting up your office printer
woman hand putting a sheet of paper into a copying device
Whether you’re looking to buy a single printer or a fleet for your office, proper placement can mean the difference between a convenient printing process and one that puts a strain on your employees’ productivity. Instead of simply sliding the printer onto any vacant space, some planning and preparation are needed to avoid issues down the line. So, when searching for that sweet spot for your printers, keep the below tips in mind.
Start by figuring out how many employees will be using the printer. If you have a secretary, receptionist, or administrator doing most of the printing, it makes sense to place the device near or on their desk. If more people need access to the printer, keeping it on a single employee’s workstation will only cause interruptions throughout the day. In this case, consider a central location where multiple users can have easy access without being a nuisance to their fellow employees. Taking a step back to carefully assess those needs and translating them to the office layout will help you find the best location for your printer to live.
Think about how far employees need to walk to collect their printouts. Do they have to take an energy-draining trek to the far end of the office? Remember it’s easy for employees to get sidetracked on their way to pick up documents from a distant printer. They might engage in conversation or drop-in at a co-worker, which can slow down their work progress.
In case your business has a fleet of large printers it is expected that you keep these in a designated printing room, but a single printer that’s located too far away in the office will be a bothersome extra step for those who use the device very frequently.
Printers shouldn’t be placed below or near windows where they will be at risk of sunlight exposure. A printer that becomes too hot can cause air bubbles to grow inside the cartridge and cause the ink to spill, affecting the quality of your printouts. Another reason to steer clear from windows is that wind can blow papers from the exit tray and scatter them throughout the office.
When hooking up your office printer for the first time, be wary of the cables that will connect the printer. Printers need to be stored near a wall outlet where they can easily be unplugged should the need arise. If you need an extension cord, be aware that they can result in a pretty messy environment. It’s best to invest in cable ties or cable covers to avoid any trip hazards and keep everything neat and organised.
Your printing station will be a high-traffic zone where workers will come and go as they please, so you want to make sure that the space is optimised for your printing needs. Check that the area allows the necessary accessories, supplies, and furniture to be kept nearby. You’ll need a bin that collects waste and a tray where unclaimed documents are kept. Usually printers are also placed next to a cabinet that stores paper, toner and ink cartridges, highlighters, pens, and pencils, paperclips, and staplers. Maintaining an organized printing station contributes to a more efficient workspace.
Whichever appropriate place you choose to store the printer, always read the safety instruction manual. It will advise the above precautions as well as additional things to look out for such as placing your printer on a flat, stable surface and away from devices that contain magnets or produce magnetic fields. The most obvious place to place an office inkjet or laser printer is where it’s the least likely to be susceptible to damage or disrupt the flow of the office.
This article has shown how many challenges your office can encounter based on the position of your printer, however, following these basic rules will help ensure that the placement of your printer is effective.