The six tips you can apply to save paper in a Busy Office setting.

I have worked in several busy office settings. I have noticed that one of the most widely wasted materials is duplicating paper. In a busy office setting, about quarter to half a ream of paper is wasted unknowingly every two to three working days. The wastage happens during printing and photocopying.  Regular software upgrades add to this printing problem. In today’s business environment, software upgrades are required for the smooth running of the management systems and operations. It is therefore inevitable to upgrade your office’s software. However, using the advanced versions of software is not too easy for all the staff members of the company. Last year, I was working with an international organization. We upgraded from Microsoft office 2003 to Microsoft office 2010. Soon after the upgrade, the “printing” problem got worse and a lot of papers got wasted in the process. Suffice to say that we were facing the same problem before the upgrade. Unfortunately, the management took no action to curb the situation. I had to talk to my immediate supervisor.

Below are 6 steps for saving paper at work.

1. For a number of computers (and personnel), set up one ‘print server’ for one designated default printer. Printer servers are relatively cheaper than network printers. On the other hand, it beats the costs of having a printer for each computer.

2. Setup one default computer for the designated networked printer. The default printer will be hooked up to this computer. The default computer will act as the ‘print sever’ in this type of setting. The network protocols to the default computer should not allow any job/document into and out of the printer, before it is checked for mistakes and well set up.

3. Designate one or two personnel to bear the responsibility of checking all the sent jobs/documents through the default computer for the designated printer. Correct errors if any. Set up the page as may be required before printing. The responsibility of checking all documents should be assigned to someone in position to carry out other duties at the same go.

4. Set up a recording system for all incoming jobs/documents to the printer.  It should preferably be an electronic kind of recording system.

5. It may seem obvious that whoever has graduated, written a well-organized job application, attached neatly typed curriculum vitae, and passed the job interview should know everything he/she needs to know about using a computer for printing. It’s a big mistake. Technologies change at rocket speed today. What you knew yesterday is not applicable today and if you apply it, you are probably wasting time, energy, resources or all the three. So time and again, the office should hire an Information Technology expert to train staffs on the basic steps of printing. This is preferable whenever there is a change in the office software or an upgrade. It might seem like an unnecessary expense at first thought, but it will save you some good money in the long run.

6. The first three steps involve or require a computer. However, all the other steps should be applied in the office when using a photocopier machine to save paper.

Every paper counts. Every paper cost money.