Choosing the right printer for home working

Home working isn't just convenient for employees; it can make real sense for businesses too.

UK businesses are now obliged to consider flexible working arrangements for parents. However, they shouldn't look on practices like remote working as a burden.

By adopting a flexible strategy that involves hot desking and allowing staff to work from remote locations, organisations can avoid many of the costs that come with growth - and can even avoid having to move into new premises.

But in order to work effectively from home, home workers need to have the right equipment.

When it comes to printing and imaging devices, the needs of home workers a different from those of the office.

In a home office - often situated in the user's spare bedroom or study - the size of a printer matters. Compact units with an upright format can save desk space, and if users need access to scanning, copying or fax functions it's well worth opting for a multifunction product (MFP) that combines all of these features.

Another important consideration is low cost of ownership. This includes not only the purchase price of the device, but also of consumables such as ink or toner. Be careful to compare like with like, as no tall ink cartridges, for instance, have the same capacity.

The only reliable measure is cost per page - and users who regularly print photos will go through ink much more quickly that the standard quoted 30 per cent coverage.

Choosing between inkjet or laser printer depends fundamentally on the volume of printing to be done, and how vital it is to produce high-quality output such as photo prints at home.

Laser printers generally come with a significantly lower cost per page, but many modern inkjets are a match for them in terms of the quality of text output - making them worth considering for home workers who don't need to print great volumes.

Lastly, without technical support staff on site, easy setup and maintenance are a must. Printers with comprehensive help documentation, sophisticated drivers and built-in features such as self-cleaning will help keep home workers productive and worry-free.

This article was brought to you as part of THINQ's Business Printing Hub in association with HP.