Woman taking print out from printer

Print and printers are highly missed during COVID-19

Xerox Future of Work Survey is a new global business survey commissioned by Xerox Holdings Corporation. The survey, conducted by the independent research firm Vanson Bourne, polled 600 IT decision makers including senior C-level professionals from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Germany and France, whose organizations have at least 500 employees.

The survey result reveals an estimated 82% of the workforce in respondents’ organizations will have returned to the workplace in 12–18 months’ time, on average. To prepare for that, companies are investing in new resources to support a hybrid remote/in-office workforce.


Missing the accessibility and ease of the office printers 

Respondents reported challenges caused by the sudden transition to remote work, with 72% citing they were not fully prepared from a technology perspective. And as many as 85% of business leaders missed the accessibility and ease of use of their office printers, with U.S. respondents missing them the most (93%) followed by Germany (92%) and France (91%). Besides technology, the biggest pain points during the required work from home period were communication breakdown across teams/employees and maintaining focus.

Steve Bandrowczak, Xerox president and chief operations officer on the result:

“While there is no doubt the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work, our research found that over time many companies plan to have most employees back in an office environment. This could be for a variety of reasons, including communication, speed of decision-making and talent development. At the same time, the sudden shutdown and ongoing hybrid work environment has exposed technology gaps that require new or additional investment in the coming months.”


Xerox key findings and takeaways

Xerox has summarised the findings of the Future of Work Survey in three major takeaways.

Businesses plan to return most employees to the office, though expanded remote work policies are here to stay.
Among the countries polled, the U.S. is the most likely to have an increase in confidence in remote working (86%), followed by the U.K. (80%), Germany (80%), Canada (77%), and France (75%). Employees may not be going back to the office all at once or in the same capacity as before, but the need for organisations to support a hybrid workforce is here for the foreseeable future.

Sudden stay-at-home orders quickly revealed technology gaps.
The rapid transition to remote work was difficult for most businesses, with only 28% saying they were fully prepared and 29% citing technology as their biggest pain point. Respondents said their top challenges were remote IT support, inadequate workflow solutions, lack of communications and collaboration tools and lack of cloud-based solutions (10%). And up to 93% of the respondents missing their office printers, as mentioned earlier. To mitigate against future disruptions, companies will look to invest in new technologies and seek added capability from existing tools to accelerate the digital transformation.

Technology purchasing priorities are shifting to better support employees.
As a result of technology gaps uncovered by having a mostly remote workforce, 70% of IT decision makers globally are reevaluating their budget spend and prioritising investments in cloud-based software, remote IT, support and collaboration software. COVID-19 is feeding digital transformation plans and companies are placing a renewed focus on meeting employees’ needs with both hardware and software.

Deloitte predict increase in home printer sales

Deloitte Global creates an annual Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) Predictions report, which considers how technology advances may transform the worldwide business ecosystem. The extraordinary disruption caused by COVID-19 has led the team to also create “mini-Predictions,” which examine short-term effects. The latest one predicts that home all-in-one (multifunction) printer sales will grow 15% in 2020 as a result of the lockdowns and hundreds of millions of people bringing their laptops home from work.

Multicopy takeaway: There is something about print

There are occasions when digital simply will not do as good a job as print. Research shows that people are more likely to absorb information on paper. And for some, reading a printed text might offer valuable offline moments. The survey revelation that respondents are missing their office printer and the possibility to print important information, is good news for our industry. And more, it inspires us to continue creating new value through offering sustainable premium products for your office machines.

Read the article about the Xerox Survey here

Take a look at the Deloitte TMT Prediction on printer sales here

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