May 23, 2024

Businesses losing thousands to personal printing in the office

Office workers could cost small businesses an average of £4,250 per year using the office printer for personal items.

Three quarters of Welsh office workers (75 per cent) admit to using their employers’ printer to print off items unrelated to their work, according to a survey by printer ink firm Cartridge Save.

A massive 54 per cent of employees in Wales use business printers purely out of convenience – and one in six (16 per cent) said they do so to get back at their boss.

Nearly half (47 per cent) admit to printing off their CV under the nose of their bosses with other common personal items being printed out of the business budget including – travel documents (45 per cent) gig tickets (42 per cent) interview documents (38 per cent) and photographs (16 per cent).

The Cartridge Save research revealed it could be a daily occurrence – with 38 per cent of office workers admitting they print personal items off up to FIVE times a week.

On average people print off 11 pages of personal information – and at 5p per page the cost per employee per year is £85.

Medium-sized businesses average around 50 employers -with personal printing costing over £4,000 every year.
But while nearly a third (30 per cent) of managing directors have issued verbal warnings and sacked employees for printer misuse –  a quarter (26 per cent) have rewarded their employees when catching them printing off their CV – with a payrise.

Ian Cowley, MD of Cartridge Save said:

“It has been an unwritten rule in lots of businesses for a number of years now that employees use the printer.

“Most bosses do tend to turn a blind eye – but it is worth adding up that cost to the business. It could equate to staff bonuses, a pay rise or an office social – so we’d advise making employees aware of this fact so they see the incentive.”

The data revealed that more than a quarter (28 per cent) of office workers revealed they frequently use the office printer when looking for a new job.

Just 21 per cent of those who have been caught out using the printer for personal use )30 per cent) said there had been no consequences.

But more than half – 56 per cent said they had either left their job earlier than planned, been fired or issued with a warning.

In a survey of 2,500 office workers, data reveals a quarter (24 per cent) of those printing out their work records do so during a lunch break – while a sneaky one in ten (11 per cent) leave printer misuse until their boss is in a meeting.
After it emerged two thirds of Brits cite looking for a new job as a New Year’s resolution for 2020, Cartridge Save surveyed office workers around the UK asking just what they use their work printer for.

In the survey of office workers around the UK many revealed a series of mishaps that would put anyone off.

Several claimed they had caught a colleague or boss photocopying body parts, whilst another said he had caught a peer printing off an erotic novel.

For more statistics and an infographic see: