Nobody could have predicted the recent and dramatic changes to the ways in which we live and work. With COVID-19 forcing millions of office workers worldwide to suddenly abandon traditional workplaces in favor of home offices, companies and individuals have had to rapidly discover the most efficient and effective ways to keep operating. Suddenly the daily commutes, face-to-face meetings and business travel we took for granted have been replaced by home offices, virtual meetings and new routines.

The fallout from this has affected a multitude of related industries including office real estate agents, coffee and sandwich shops, business clothing suppliers, and office furniture and IT equipment makers, including printer vendors.

With new work patterns slowly being established and the virus showing no signs of going away, it seems that working from home is here to stay. This has left corporations and individuals alike exploring how to adapt to changes, while at the same time trying to recover familiar working styles within the constraints of the new normal.

“The home environment is expected to see a 130% increase in printing in 2020.”

Home printing expected to increase

Keypoint Intelligence has addressed the issue of office printing in a pair of recent reports, entitled “Modeling COVID-19’s Impact on Office Environment and Home Environment Print Volume” and “The Future Office Survey: Working from Home During COVID-19.” Due to causes such as industry job losses, the former report forecasts a 30% decline in office printing in 2020 with little recovery forecast in the following year. On the other hand, the report also states that some of the pages lost in regular offices will re-emerge as workers try to do their jobs at home. “While some pages will be lost forever,” it says, “the home environment is expected to see a 130 percent increase in printing in 2020.”

The second report is focused on the US market and is based on primary research about working from home and worker attitudes towards printing. It will come as no surprise that many believe working from home will continue, with as many as 80% of office workers believing their organizations would allow them to at least partially continue working this way, even after the COVID-19 crisis.

“Those receiving a printer from their company are likely to maintain pre-lockdown printing volumes.”

As you might expect, this will also boost home printing needs. The Keypoint report goes on to reveal that as many as 45% of new at-home workers have acquired a printer, and that 71% of remote workers paying for their own supplies say they’d print more for work if their employer covered this cost. Interestingly, the survey also suggests that those receiving a printer from their company are likely to maintain pre-lockdown printing volumes.

Heat-Free Technology holds the key

Epson believes that printers featuring its proprietary Heat-Free Technology are the key to addressing these concerns. Because they use a simple, non-contact system that deposit ink droplets on media without heating the ink, these inkjet printers are durable, require only infrequent parts replacements, and generate little waste. Even if paper does jam, it can be removed easily and safely because there are no hot parts. The fact that they do not use heat also means that they use less power.

With office workers seemingly ready to embrace printing from their home offices, the way forward is for printers that are reasonably priced, require little maintenance and which are sustainable. Printers such as Epson’s Ecotank range, including Heat-Free Technology answer these needs.

”Lower power consumption, reduced intervention and maintenance, and less waste.”

Koichi Kubota, COO of Epson’s printing solutions business believes that the world is changing rapidly from an economy based around heavy consumption to one where sustainability is key. He asserts that, “With Epson’s Heat-Free Technology, customers can shift to a more sustainable printing model with benefits such as lower power consumption, reduced intervention and maintenance, and less waste.”

Thanks to many advantages over traditional office printing technologies, Heat-Free seems well set to become established as the printing technology for the new normal.