Printing your way to a healthy workplace

When you read this blog post about creating a healthy workplace you may be forgiven for thinking that we’ve spent a little bit too long in a confined space with some toner – and in some respects, you’re right – that’s why we are writing it!

Like many others, we do wonder what the impact of the technological revolution will be on long term health. Mobile phones, printers, screen flicker and wi-fi have all arrived in our life time and we won’t see any potential impact for a generation. Major studies are already taking place to consider the impacts of changes in working habits and the advent of mobile technology with concerns abound regarding their effect on our health and wellbeing.

So, what can you do to mitigate the impact of technology in your workplace?

One of the side benefits of updating your inhouse print infrastructure can be improved wellbeing for your personnel; and with wellbeing becoming a major factor in job selection for employees, it’s an important element not to overlook.

Let’s rewind to the early days of printers. The network infrastructure maybe didn’t exist or the print requirements of different departments required very localised printers. The accounts team could be relied upon to have one huge dot matrix printer, a cheque printer and a couple of ‘normal’ printers at the very least. The technology of these printers was rudimentary and resulted in the fans working overtime, coughing toner and dust into the air and across desks. Early laser printers with a very dry powder toner were amongst the worst for distributing their contents into the atmosphere.

Localised printing also turned us into a national of desk dwellers. We did not need to move from our desks, except to get a cuppa from the kitchen or for calls of nature, so we stayed, welded to our desks for longer, breathing in toner!

Ok, so we paint a bit of a grim picture but sadly we are old enough to remember offices that did seem to have a fog – although that could have also been the people smoking at their desks of course!

What’s changed?

Technology and thinking have moved on considerably. The printers of today are far more efficient, produce less emissions and don’t need such big internal fans to keep them cool, reducing the amount of bi-product being pumped into the office environment.

The ongoing debate about centralisation Vs decentralisation of print continues, but the simple fact is there are typically less printers in the average office today, compared to 20 years ago. We also print less, but when we do print at least, it does require us to get up, move about and then, most importantly, readjust our posture as we sit back down. These little breaks away from screen and desk are already proven to have a positive effect on health and wellbeing.

So, if you haven’t updated your printers in a long while there is every chance that you could not only enjoy some cost and process efficiencies but also have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of your staff by creating a healthy workplace.