Organizing your office this spring? Start with your printer

May 2, 20184 Minute Read

You’ve parked your parka, moved your clocks forward, and booked an appointment to get your car detailed. That leaves just one item on your end-of-season to-do list: spring-cleaning the office printer station.

Before you flutter that feather duster and call it a day, keep in mind that organizing your office requires a lot more than sweeping dirt from behind the copy machine and tidying the paper supply closet. Here’s what you need to add to your office spring cleaning checklist.

Take a device inventory

If you don’t have an inventory of all your IT assets, then make building one a top priority for your office spring cleaning project.

Keeping an inventory of IT assets isn’t just about organizing your office. According to the Centre for Internet Security, it’s the first step toward protecting your organization from cybersecurity threats. Depending on how many assets you need to log or how fancy you want to get, you can either create your IT asset inventory using a spreadsheet program or with software designed for that purpose.

Identify what’s on its way out

Even the most reliable equipment will need to go at some point. As you’re building or going through your IT assets inventory, identify the devices nearing the end of their lifecycles. How useful are these devices to your organization’s workflow? Does it make sense to replace them with similar products or have new innovations rendered them obsolete?

Given the finite amount of space in your office, every piece of equipment needs to earn its piece of real estate. Just consider the photocopier taking up space in the hallway—you know, the one that seems to break down once a month, which also happens to be the only time anyone ever wants to use it. If you won’t miss it when it’s gone, then you should do away with it sooner rather than later.

Recycle wisely and dispose safely

What’s one of the best things about organizing your office printer station, aside from finding your favourite stapler you thought you’d lost for good? You guessed it: purging. From paper waste and cardboard boxes to empty toner cartridges and old fax machines, a lot of recyclables and disposables can pile up over time.

Ask your suppliers and device manufacturers about their return and recycling programs. Work with community organizations and charities that collect and, in some cases, refurbish used electronics. For nonrecyclable items, make sure you follow manufacturers’ instructions for safe disposal. When in doubt, check with your local waste management authority.

Streamline and consolidate

Still using multiple devices for printing, scanning, copying, and faxing? Then you know how much work it takes to manage and maintain all your equipment, particularly if you have to deal with different manufacturers and suppliers.

A better option is a multifunction printer, which can address all the imaging and printing needs of the business while taking up less of your office real estate. Most all-in-one printers have similar offerings when it comes to functions, so it’s important to consider other features, such as reliability, customer support, environmentally friendly parts and accessories, and integration with cloud-based technology.

Keep security top of mind

Organizations often exclude printers from their cybersecurity strategy—a sad fact hackers know too well. IDC, for instance, found that while decision-makers know print security is important, they focus less on it than other segments of IT security. This is a major mistake, as IDC also noted that printers were involved in one of every four serious IT security incidents. In short, you need to remember three words: secure your printer.

As you’re shopping around for your new multifunction printer, ask about features and services that can keep your network safe from hackers and from careless actions by employees. Look for advanced security technologies that detect, protect against, and even help your network recover from attacks. Didn’t think a printer could do all that, did you?

When you look out the window, you won’t see any snow and ice (hopefully), which means spring is truly here. If you haven’t started organizing your office yet, what are you waiting for? Grab your office spring cleaning checklist and get your printer station streamlined, secured, and ready for business.

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