Brother UK has released a new report into the latest print and scan trends, revealing that despite aspiring to the idea of a paperless office, the majority of small businesses are struggling to reduce print volumes.
Surveying more than 800 small business managers and employees, the report – coined Paper-lite: busting the myth of the paperless office – found that while almost two-thirds of managers are striving to reduce paper consumption, 41% say their business prints more now than it did two years ago.
The majority of managers surveyed (63%) said they couldn’t function without paper, and almost three-quarters of employees claimed that printing documents increased their efficiency at work.
Just over 50% of managers said they were actually aware of their monthly print costs. They estimated spending approximately £1,502 ($1,950) every month on print, of which £475 goes on hardware, £468 on human resource, £351 on external IT support and £208 on consumables, including ink and paper.
Almost half said those costs had increased in the last two years.
Brother said the research points to a clear opportunity for channel firms to supply integrated print and scan systems to support efficiency, productivity and cost control, as well as benefitting the environment.
Nearly two-thirds of employees agreed that scanning documents enables a more efficient way of working, and more than a quarter reported that their use of scanners had increased in the past two years.
65% of employees reported that scanning has also helped improve the quality of their work, principally by reducing clutter, supporting collaboration with colleagues in other locations, making editing documents easier and enabling them to quality check their work more easily.
Aaron Hopkinson, Product and Solutions Manager at Brother UK, said: “Our latest research shows that paper, ink and toner are still essential to the running of offices. So, while the dream of a completely paperless office might be out of reach, adopting a ‘paper-lite’ approach is a realistic aspiration that most managers are striving to achieve.
“This means businesses want to be smarter about how they print and reduce the amount of paper they use, and also see the value in digitising paper documents with support from scan solutions.”