The Office Printer’s Etiquette Guide


Wednesday May 30, 2018 

When you spend 40 hours a week with the same people, it’s only natural that some of your coworkers’ habits occasionally get on your nerves. While it’s generally best to learn to accept their quirks, there’s also a certain etiquette you and your colleagues should employ when it comes to shared materials – refrigerators, sinks, closets and office equipment. Here are a few tips to make sure you’re showing respect for your peers with your printing habits:

  1. Let People with Fewer Documents Print First

Many people print from their desk computer to a shared printer fleet and aren’t aware of others printing. But for offices where there is a designated computer for printing, it’s courteous to let people with fewer documents print first. If you know your colleague is printing an urgent, shorter document, the polite thing to do is allow them to print before you. Conversely, if you have a particularly long document that isn’t time-sensitive, you might want to wait until an off time to do your printing, or use a less popular printer.

  1. Fill Paper Trays and Replace Empty Cartridges

Just as you wouldn’t – or shouldn’t – take the last drop of coffee without refilling the pot, don’t leave empty paper trays or empty cartridges for another person to remedy. This is just common courtesy, but many people make it their mission to avoid this simple task. If you notice the printer runs out of paper after your print job, replace it with more paper. If you have a low ink or toner warning, either let your office manager know you need to order more cartridges, or replace it yourself. These are simple tasks that take just a few minutes, so don’t hinder your own and everyone else’s productivity because the printer runs out of materials.

  1.  Don’t Leave Your Papers in the Printer for Hours

Simple office printing etiquette includes picking up your prints in a timely manner. Although this may seem intuitive, all too often, extra or forgotten documents have been left in the tray. This is especially frustrating for someone who picks up the entire stack and then has to sift through to find which pages are theirs. Unsurprisingly, this is also how many documents get lost. So after you’ve printed something, pick it up. Don’t leave your papers to sit in the tray for hours or days at a time.

  1. Don’t Remove Someone Else’s Prints from the Tray

Yes, if a document has been left in the tray for hours, it’s fair game, and you can take it out. But, imagine going to the printer after you’ve sent a job to print, only to find the document has been removed by someone else. This is incredibly frustrating, especially if the document is time-sensitive, and you have to return to your desk and re-print it. So, if you see someone else’s print in the tray, or you’ve mistakenly taken it with your own documents, just return it back to the tray for them to retrieve.

Being considerate and mindful when using the office printer is a small way to make your work environment more respectful and pleasant – while also making sure you’re not impeding productivity.

Your printing habits and office etiquette are up to you. But for everything else printer-related, reach out to your local, friendly Cartridge World experts. Find a Cartridge World near you.