Uncertainty is the new normal, but there is little doubt that hybrid working is here to stay. According to the Financial Times, over 20% of workers operate under a hybrid working model in the UK alone. As we get accustomed to a new “business as usual”, the need for personal printers in remote workspaces has become apparent for many. But how do you know which one is right for you?
Choosing an A4 printer can be a daunting task, as there are lots of different factors that must be considered, such as workflows, pricing, and your home office itself. That’s why we’re here to walk you through everything you need to bear in mind when picking out the perfect addition to your home office setup.
A multifunction printer (hereafter “MFP”) is a device that allows you to print, scan, copy, or fax, and email documents. This all-in-one printer can digitise paper documents, driving efficient and agile workflows.
In contrast, a standalone printer will print the documents you need without including any of the additional functions found in most MFPs.
While the differences between the two devices may be clear, there are still a number of elements that should be examined so you can find the printer that best suits your hybrid-working needs.
Before you begin browsing product pages and perusing different printer specifications, we recommend reviewing the tasks you typically carry out on a day-to-day basis.
If you need to scan and fax documents from your home office, an MFP is the right fit for you. With one of these devices, you can ensure your capabilities won’t be restricted while you’re working from home. An MFP will allow you to digitise paper documents that can then be seamlessly added to your workflow and shared with colleagues and clients, no matter where you are. In addition, an MFP will consolidate all these tasks in one device, eliminating the need to switch from one machine to another to complete simple tasks.
However, an MFP isn’t necessarily the ideal device for everyone. The printing tasks you carry out in your home office might be limited to printing out text documents in black and white to be annotated or signed and sent in the mail. If this is the case, the additional capabilities of an MFP won’t be of use to you and won’t be worth the investment.
When choosing your next home office device, you’ll also need to take the price into account. This includes the initial purchasing cost of your device plus the long-term expenses and consumables. The latter includes ink cartridges, replacement parts and repairs, factors that must be considered
when trying to put a figure on the total cost of ownership (TCO). Choosing a manufacturer with a proven pedigree in high-quality, long-lasting devices will not only ensure less downtime and frustration, but it will minimise the money spent on maintenance and repairs.
Due to their reduced functionality, standalone printers are found in a lower price range than MFPs. However, for paper-heavy workflows a more robust MFP will offer strong value in the long run, as the need to outsource jobs to local print service providers will be eliminated, thus saving on additional costs.
No two home offices are the same, so you’ll need to make sure the printer you select fits the specifications of your hybrid working set up.
If you’re working in a smaller space, a compact printer might be the better choice for you, as MFPs tend to be larger than these standalone printers. In addition, you’ll also need to review the existing devices in your fleet. A clear understanding of your current print environment is key to making smart business investments, so you can stretch your printing budget as far as possible.
At the end of the day, the perfect printer or MFP won’t be the same for everyone. Once you’ve considered your personal workflow, pricing, and the specifications of your home office, you’ll be able to decide which device
best suits your needs. If you’re ready to start looking for the perfect hybrid-working document solutions partner and upgrade your home office, Kyocera can help.