Paperless homes and offices have been spoken about for many years now, but we’re still nowhere near a position where that will be a reality. With advancements in technology and cloud-based storage there was a common perception that paper just wouldn’t be needed anymore.
The truth is that very few – if any – homes are genuinely paperless and it would be almost impossible to find a single business that is genuinely paperless. Despite all the predictions of less and less paper being used, the fact is that we are using more paper than we did thirty years ago!
As of 2020, with Covid19 millions of people have been, and are, working from home which means a home printer is invaluable. Students around the UK have been confined to accommodation during spikes in Covid19 and with the majority of university classes online, their need for a printer has never been greater.
So, what are the major reasons that a printer is more of a ‘must-have’ than ever? Let’s take a look at how a home printer really makes your life easier…
Paper enables accuracy
People find using paper to be more convenient when they need to print off a report, grab a pen and makes notes and changes to pieces of work. Yes, this can be achieved digitally with programs such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Reader but being able to correct and change work using a pen and paper is so much easier. Ask any professional writer and proof-reader and they’ll tell you that using paper to correct work is much more accurate than making corrections on a screen.
When you’re working on a screen for long periods of time, your eyes can become tired and the effect can be damaging. Reading on a screen, people have a tendency to skim over words and phrases which leads to the increased chance of errors.
The cost of a home printer
There is no doubt that a printer and paper can be a far more cost-effective solution than software and storage solutions such as hard drives and cloud technology. Small businesses are always looking at ways to cut costs and every penny spent must ensure a return on that investment.
Paper has become even cheaper in the past few years, with supermarkets moving into the home printing area. Paper is cheap, can be easily stored and easy to access. Printers are incredibly cheap these days and can be set up in just a few minutes, providing total convenience.
Paper AND digital are a perfect team!
Often, you’ll need the convenience of both printer and digital solution to get the job done. Let’s take a look at an example: Let’s say you need to get a signed document over to someone as a matter of urgency. Printing the document, signing it, then either faxing it via an all-in-one printer (featuring a copier, scanner and fax machine), will mean that you have the solution at your finger-tips, no matter what the situation. Having the capacity to convert paper documents to digital format and vice versa when required is invaluable.
Paper is great for marketing…
There are lots of ways to present information digitally these days, but there’s nothing quite as personal as having a printed document in your hands. And you can move around the office or your home, read it whilst having a coffee and take it in wherever you happen to be. There’s no need to have a laptop at hand, or a power source to power your computer! It’s the equivalent of having a magazine in your hands rather than reading everything online. The feeling is much more personal.
From a simple brochure to a product report hundreds of pages long, being able to pick it up, take it away and read it is a powerful marketing tool. Providing handouts to support your digital presentation is a great way to make the viewer feel part of the presentation, which can lead to sales of your product or service.
Paper is personal
As we just touched upon, the appeal of having something tangible to hold shouldn’t be underestimated as it incorporates another of the body’s senses into the equation, the sense of touch. Print media is a far more personal interaction between business and consumer. While online graphics is often competing with a multitude of other messages bombarding your senses, print media can often stand alone as single, strong message.
Subconsciously, having a paper document in your hand says ‘this needs attention now’ because more of people’s senses are involved. They can touch it, see it – and that can invoke an immediate response.
A tangible product in the hand means that it can’t be just deleted, or they can’t just close the lid on their laptop and forget about it until later. Yes, a document can be put down and ignored, but it takes more effort and will always be there, waiting for you to take action. It’s not just something that exists online.
Digital can wait!
Much of the UK population still prefer to read newspapers and physical books and magazines – and receive their utility bills in the post. So, it’s not all about pixels over paper. In fact, if you run a business whose customers are of a certain age, you’ll need to cater for them accordingly.
There are also lots of businesses who prefer to receive paper copies over digital when it comes to invoices, purchase orders and receipts when working with other businesses. The power of paper cannot be underestimated!
Having a printer in the home is almost a necessity these days. Firstly, let’s consider the current Covid19 situation. With millions of people working from home, it’s difficult to work to the same capacity if you don’t have access to a printer. What do you do if you need to print out a document, scan it and send it onwards? If you have children working from home, they constantly need to print out school projects or university lecture notes. It’s endless.
Home printers are also invaluable when it comes to general uses around the home. Here are a few things you’ve probably needed a printer for: Labels for posting items, printing off concert tickets, birthday invitations, printing family photographs and all manner of other uses.
The variety of uses for printers is staggering, and when you don’t have one, your life can quickly become very complicated!
No matter how much society says it is moving towards a paperless state, we still need printers, and probably always will. Yes, sometimes their connections are not always reliable (but that applies to all tech!), they take up space, paper jams still happen, and ink isn’t that cheap. But they are the still the best way to control your own admin and work projects. Once printed out, it can’t simply be deleted or be lost in a computer crash! It could be said that with a mobile, you don’t need to print anything out, as it’s a permanent record on your device. Yes, a concert ticket on your mobile is an effective way of gaining access to the show, but how many times has the signal been poor? Or you’ve run out of power? Nothing is one hundred per cent dependable.
We’ve put together a list of key reasons you need a printer at your beck-and-call.
Most airlines and airports have facilities at hand to read boarding passes downloaded on to our mobile phones, and that’s great – when everything goes smoothly. Printing a boarding pass at home allows you to avoid any issues if the airport doesn’t accept e-boarding passes – and not all of them do! Taking a paper copy provides extra peace of mind and could save you additional costs at the airport.
Proofreading and editing
As we mentioned earlier, copy-editors and proof-readers tend to prefer paper to check over work. They say it helps them be more accurate. If you’re reading things on screen for periods of time, your eyes can become strained and this can lead to a drop in attention to detail. This allows mistakes in copy to slip through the net. It’s a personal choice, but one which many industry professionals swear by.
Artwork and photos
As mobiles now have amazing cameras and videoing options, it’s now possible to photograph and document every aspect of your life without having to worry about if you’ve got enough film left to capture the moment! But, as mobile devices and digital cameras have developed, so have printers. Take a look at most printers on the market these days and they advertise themselves as ‘wireless all-in-one inkjet printers – and can print images of camera quality. So, even though you might keep most of your images on your mobile, you can remotely send them to your printer – and they’ll be waiting for you when you get home!
Prints are Cloud ready!
As more businesses use Cloud technologies and more employees are working from home, Google has teamed up with a number of manufacturers to create a simple way of printing. No longer do you have to log in to emails and download printed attachments. Simply use Google docs’ fool-proof menu to print quickly and easily. You don’t have to wait for large files to download and print.
Have you noticed that when you need to return an item you’ve purchased these days, it’s YOU who has to print out a return shipping label for the pick up? What do you do if you don’t have a printer? Exactly! Your home printer removes the inconvenience of having to go to either the local library (if it’s open) or printing store in town.
We’ve probably all experienced virtual signatures, but most documents are still being signed on paper. Almost all paperwork could be done in a digital format these days, as all the technologies are so far advanced. And yet. Can you imagine important documents and contracts being signed by politicians on a tablet? No, it’s just not going to happen.
It’s true that sometimes we can go for a week or two without needing a printer, but when you need one, it’s always urgent, isn’t it? And while it’s a positive thing for the environment to use less paper and ink, the industry has made large strides in order to ensure they are doing their bit towards saving planet Earth! Printer cartridges can be re-cycled multiple times and the public demand things get greener!
At Ebuyer we have a massive range of printers to suit all budgets and requirements. Click here to discover more. We also stock thousands of different inks and we sell paper too, so you can get everything in one place.