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Easy Tips to Reduce Office Printing Costs

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Office printing costs can quickly add up, from the price of paper and ink or toner to maintenance and energy consumption. However, with a few mindful adjustments and changes in office culture, reducing office printing costs can be both straightforward and highly effective. Here’s how to help your organisation reduce its office printing expenses, promoting financial savings and environmental responsibility.

Understanding the True Cost of Printing

Before we delve into the tips to reduce office printing costs, it’s essential to understand the true cost of printing. It’s not just the expense of paper and ink but a multitude of other factors that often go unnoticed.

The cost of printers, their maintenance, electricity usage, and even the space required for storing printed documents all contribute to the overall cost. When you have a clear picture of these expenses, it becomes easier to appreciate the importance of reducing them.

Embrace Digital Documents

One of the most effective ways to reduce office printing costs is to shift towards a paperless environment. The digital age has ushered in a new era of document management, and many processes that once relied on paper can now be digitised. Encourage your team to send and store documents electronically.

Use email, cloud storage, or document management systems to share and store important files. Not only does this save money on printing, but it also streamlines communication and collaboration.

Opt for Duplex Printing

When printing is necessary, use the duplex or double-sided printing option. This feature allows you to print on both sides of a sheet of paper, effectively reducing your paper consumption by half.

Most modern printers have this capability, and it’s a simple setting adjustment that can be made each time you print. This practice will significantly decrease your paper costs and also contribute to a more eco-friendly office.

Set Default Settings to Draft Mode

By defaulting your office printers to draft mode, you can conserve a substantial amount of ink or toner over time. While draft mode may not be suitable for all documents, it’s perfect for internal drafts, reference materials, or quick reviews.

When the final, high-quality print is required, users can manually adjust the settings for that particular print job. This approach reduces the overall amount of ink or toner used and extends the lifespan of your cartridges.

Encourage Responsible Printing Practices

Promote a culture of responsible printing within your office. This includes educating employees about the costs associated with printing and the impact on the environment. Encourage them to think twice before hitting the print button.

Consider implementing a printing quota system or setting restrictions on colour printing, particularly for personal or non-essential documents.

Review and Proofread Digitally

Before printing a document, thoroughly review and proofread it on your computer screen. This reduces the need to print multiple drafts for editing purposes.

Modern word processing and design software provide excellent tools for reviewing and editing documents digitally. This not only saves on printing costs but also improves efficiency and reduces paper waste.

Centralise Printing Resources

If your office has multiple printers scattered throughout the workspace, consider centralising printing resources.

Placing a few high-efficiency, multi-function printers in convenient locations can discourage employees from using personal or less efficient printers. Centralised printing also makes it easier to manage supplies and monitor usage.

Invest in Energy-Efficient Printers

Modern printers come with energy-efficient features that can significantly reduce electricity costs. Look for printers with Energy Star certification or other eco-friendly designations.

Ensure that your printers are set to enter sleep mode or automatically power down during periods of inactivity.

Optimise Font Selection and Formatting

The font and formatting choices in your documents can affect how much ink or toner is used. For example, some fonts are more ink-intensive than others. Consider using eco-friendly fonts like Century Gothic, which is known for its ink-saving characteristics.

Avoid using bold or heavy formatting, as this can require more ink for printing. By optimising font selection and formatting, you can save on printing costs without sacrificing document readability.

Implement Secure Printing

Secure printing ensures that documents are only printed when the person who initiated the print job is present at the printer. This prevents forgotten or unclaimed print jobs, reducing paper and ink waste. Secure printing can be especially useful in large office environments where multiple users share a single printer.

Recycle and Reuse Paper

When you do need to print, make the most of your resources by using recycled paper and encouraging the reuse of single-sided documents.

Office printers can often print on the backside of previously used paper, provided it’s clean and free from sensitive information. Implementing a paper recycling program in your office is also an eco-friendly and cost-saving initiative.

Monitor and Manage Printing Usage

Implement print management software to monitor and control printing usage within your office. These tools can help you track who is printing what and when allowing you to identify areas where printing can be reduced.

They also provide insights into where cost-saving measures can be most effective.

Minimise Unnecessary Colour Printing

Colour printing is significantly more expensive than black and white printing, so encourage the use of colour sparingly. Whenever possible, default your printers to black and white mode, reserving colour printing for documents that require it, such as marketing materials or presentations.

Employees should also be mindful of their colour printing choices for personal or internal documents.

Regular Maintenance and Upkeep

When a photocopier malfunctions or breaks down, it can disrupt workflow and lead to costly delays. Timely and effective photocopier repairs ensure that businesses can continue to produce the necessary documents, reducing downtime and minimising disruptions.

Photocopier maintenance helps extend the lifespan of these valuable office tools, saving organisations money in the long run by preventing the need for frequent replacements.

Evaluate Your Printing Needs Periodically

Over time, the printing needs of your office may change. To ensure that you are not overinvesting in printing resources, periodically evaluate your printing requirements. This can help you right-size your printer fleet and optimise the use of resources to match your actual needs.


Reducing office printing costs is not just about saving money; it’s also about promoting responsible resource management and sustainability. By embracing digital documents, optimising your printing processes, and fostering a culture of responsibility, your organisation can significantly reduce its office printing expenses while contributing to a greener, more eco-friendly workplace.