Quocirca Finds Home Workers are More Productive – at least many of them
Remote working is leading to less printing overall as employees pivot to digital collaboration, but those that are still printing are also more likely to report increased productivity when working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to research from Quocirca.
The survey of 501 home-working employees in the UK found that a reduced need for hard copy documents and the enforced transition to digital processes had decreased the overall need to print. At the same time, three-quarters of respondents said their productivity had increased or stayed the same since they transitioned to home working.
The survey results point to opportunities for print industry vendors and channel partners to focus on supporting the hybrid home/office environment by expanding MPS contracts to support the secure printing requirements of remote employees.
Key findings include:
- 77% of office workers based at home have access to a printer, though only 5% said their employer had provided them with one. 14% purchased a printer themselves as a result of switching to home working during COVID-19.
- 52% are printing less than they did in the office. This includes 24% that are not printing at all. However, 28% say the amount they print has increased significantly. This is more likely amongst those that were regularly printing in the office.
- 75% of new home workers report that productivity has increased (41%) or stayed the same (34%). Among those who report higher levels of productivity, 64% state they are printing more, against 30% who say they are printing less or not at all
- 41% of those that have reduced printing say they need fewer printed documents now there are no face-to-face meetings or physical signatures. 30% find digital options easier to use.
Louella Fernandes (pictured), Director, Quocirca comments: “It is not surprising that workers are generally printing less than they did in an office environment. Office-based workers who may have been printing regularly out of habit are now adapting to digital alternatives. For example, 28% of respondents said their company was now allowing the use of digital signatures for documents that previously required physical signatures. This change in habits is likely to endure and is accelerating the transformation that was already strongly in evidence in the sector, creating challenges for print suppliers. “The increase in productivity reported by home workers is a positive factor that could support a more permanent shift to home working for a wider spectrum of office-based roles in future and this is something that the sector needs to anticipate.” continues Fernandes.
Employees of large organisations were more likely to report having ceased to print entirely, with 44% reporting this compared with only 18% of SMEs and 10% of mid-sized organisations. Correspondingly, workers in mid-sized organisations were most likely to say they were printing more. “There is a concentration of printing among employees in mid-sized organisations,” comments Louella. “This may be because security policies at larger organisations prevent documents being printed at home”
The shift to a hybrid home/office structure presents opportunities for print vendors and channel partners to roll support for home workers into MPS contracts, considering issues such as consumables delivery and collection of printed material for secure shredding or recycling. Security is another important consideration, with Quocirca’s COVID-19 business impact survey finding significant concern among customers about the security of home printers.
Quocirca’s Home Printing Report contains recommendations for buyers who are responsible for provisioning the hybrid work environment, as well as advice for suppliers aiming to support a changing market.
Read more and download an Executive Summary here: https://www.print2025.com/reports/quocirca-covid-19-home-printing/