Some documents are printed because the current business process includes paper as part of the process. Other documents are printed because paper is preferred for the task at hand. Overall, Keypoint Intelligence/InfoTrends research shows that 56% of printing is considered required, while 44% is viewed as optional.
Print that’s required for the established process
Keypoint Intelligence/InfoTrends research revealed that the most commonly cited reason for required print is for permanent records (60%). Some of these records are required for legal reasons, which was cited as a factor for printing by nearly 30% of respondents.
Another very important reason for printing is for a signature. Forty-five percent of respondents identified this as a reason for printing. Many of the other reasons for printing relate to transferring information from one person to another, either inside or outside the organization.
Figure: For all of your required printing for work, can you tell us why you print?
There are digital solutions for many of the activities above. Depending on the organization, information recipient, or applicable laws, they might be worth considering.
Reasons for optional printing
Reasons for optionally printing are different. These prints are not made because of a set process in place. Rather, workers believe that paper works best for them.
Keypoint Intelligence/InfoTrends research shows that respondents are most likely to print optionally because they prefer to review or edit a document on paper. For this task, people prefer paper to computer screens; they probably think they work better this way. Keypoint Intelligence/InfoTrends would not recommend forcing people to change this behavior.
People also print for temporary reference, and a range of other reasons. If Keypoint Intelligence/InfoTrends were to recommend a change in how people work, it would recommend implementing a secure digital archiving procedure. This could help safeguard documents workers need to perform their jobs.
Figure: For all of your optional printing for work, can you tell us why you print?
What should you do?
If an organization is looking for ways to reduce the amount of printing that takes place, it appears that adopting digital signatures and establishing a secure digital archiving system could provide the largest impact—while creating the smallest disruption in the office.
Docutrend can help organizations establish a system for these purposes. We can also help train office workers to become comfortable using these new tools. Contact us for more information.