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Pesky printing: Over 1.5 billion personal documents are printed in the workplace per year

Over three-quarters (77%)1 of Brits regularly print personal documents while at work

With fewer consumers having a printer at home, just how much and how often are Britain’s workforce printing personal documents at work?

Over three-quarters (77%)1 of Brits regularly print personal documents while at work, with an average of thirteen pages being printed per person, per month, according to new research.

The study, conducted by Ebuyer, the UK’s biggest online tech retailer, explored the true cost of personal printing at work and how many businesses actually charge staff for personal printing.

Almost one in five (18%) Brits said they use their work printer for personal printing once a month, while 13% said they print personal documents multiple times a week. Only 6% of workers said that they print personal documents at work less than once a year.

There are an assumed 12,576,000 office-based workers according to ONS’2 most recent employment figures, which means there is approximately 1.5 billion pieces of personal printing taking place in the workplace per year.

Perhaps it’s no wonder that so many take advantage of office facilities, with only 16% of workers saying that their company charges people to print personal documents. However almost two thirds (64%) of people said their office does not have a personal printing policy, and 20% of people don’t know if their company has such a policy.

It seems workers are happy to admit to printing at work, with 86% of men and 71% of women admitting to misusing their office printers. Men appear to be the biggest culprits of workplace printing, getting through an average of 15 personal documents a month, while women print an average of just 11 a month.

Lee Weymouth, commercial director at Ebuyer, said: “More and more of us are forgetting to have a good work/life balance by not keeping our work and home life separate, which could be why so many people are printing their personal documents at work. However, this volume of printing will be creating a lot of incurred costs for businesses, big and small, with each piece of printing adding up.

“Where you can, email or scan documents to save paper, or use a friend or family member’s printer at the weekend or after work. This might also lighten your workload as you’ll only be focusing on work during your office hours.”

For advice on how to keep costs down in the office, visit:

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