Being part of a connected network at work means sharing the printer with other people. Inevitably, the time will come when you feel frustrated by another user’s printing behaviour, whether it’s a habit of theirs, lack of awareness, or pure disregard for others. You may even be guilty of committing these errs. As humans, employees are bound to make mistakes but there are guidelines to make printing jobs easier for yourself and pleasant for others. With just a few rules and policies, companies can keep everyone happy around the printer.
Fill it up if it runs out
It’s easy to get into the habit of leaving behind an empty machine. If you’re the one to use up the last of the paper or ink, replace these printing supplies. By stocking the printer, you’ll ensure printing isn’t a hassle for the next person, who might not have the time to replenish the machine. If you’re unsure of how it works or where supplies are kept, don’t be shy to ask someone who does.
Fix paper jams
Paper jams may be the result of incorrectly loaded paper, paper sticking together, roller issues, or using low quality materials. Whichever the case, it’s unlikely that the crumpled mess of paper that the machine spits out is your fault. But if it happens during your session, don’t just leave it there and walk away. Once again, the next user may not have the time to sort out the issue. Fixing it yourself is as simple as switching off the machine, opening the input and output trays to check for any obstacles, and removing them.
Don’t leave documents behind
Ideally, you should use the printer for immediate pickup. However, there may be times when the printer is down due to wireless connectivity issues or you might get side-tracked with a phone call and forget about your printouts. This does not make it okay to leave your printouts there for days, especially documents that contain sensitive client or private information. Make a habit to collect what’s yours as soon as possible.
Don’t remove others’ prints
If someone fails to collect their printouts in a reasonable time frame, and you’ve printed documents of your own after that, check your stack to see if you didn’t pick up theirs by accident. Only take what’s yours and leave other employees’ printouts in the tray for them to pick up.
Don’t back up traffic
If you’ve got more than a couple of pages to print, be considerate to other co-workers who may want to print only one or two documents. Ask around the office if anybody wants to print something otherwise you might end up with a line in front of the printer. If you can, print outside the busiest hours like early mornings, lunchtime or when everyone’s gone home.
Don’t change settings permanently
If a task requires you to change a specific printer setting, be sure you know what you’re doing. Don’t tinker with different functions to get it right. Messing with installed options can throw the entire printer out of sync. Ask help from someone who knows how the printer works and see that the default settings are restored when the job is done.
Don’t let waste paper clutter the printing station. If you must discard of unwanted paper, shred them or make sure that you deposit them in the recycle bin and not the landfill bin.
When using the office printer, try to be aware of your own printing behaviour and considerate of the needs of co-workers. Following these simple practices can make all the difference between a smooth printing experience for all — and risking your professional relationships.