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Your Old Office Printer is Actually Really Expensive

dismayed business man

The price of old equipment is steep. 

As you begin work on a new task at your job, the internal fan on your nine-year-old computer wheezes to life as it boots up your task management system. Once the proper page creeps in a downward cascade on the screen while it loads, you find the report you need and attempt to print it. The printer view of the file churns up, and you send it to the dinky printer on your desk. The printer awakes from its slumber, briefly chews a piece of paper into its grasp, and begins to spit out the statistics onto the page with an elderly cough. You stare at the printer the entire time this occurs, silently praying that the print job manages to come to completion before the paper jams, the "low ink" notification comes on, or the report comes out with more streaks than a Blue Angels air show.

Survey Says...Your Printer is Old

According to a survey conducted by ZenBusiness, a service that helps entrepreneurs develop their small businesses, there is a widening gap in the quality of business equipment provided to workers. While some feel that working with outdated technology is the cost of keeping business economical, the results of their survey reveal that this is anything but true.

Running Out of Supplies Will Cost You

The ZenBusiness report questioned 917 employees of various companies about the state of their company's office equipment. Among those statistics, 55.4% of participants reported working with outdated printers. 51.5% of those same individuals reported repeatedly running low on paper.

Yep, They're Quitting Over It

Around this time, if your boss is reading this, they may want to say, "Well, see — we're not unique. Everyone is dealing with this." Just wait — it gets worse. 3 in 10 employees said they would likely look for different jobs due to their frustrations with outdated technology. While it seems silly for employees to quit over inadequate technology, your technology choices also give a much bigger picture of your company's priorities. 

Employee Appreciation

Yes, it sounds odd for someone to get into a huff about an outdated copier, but subjecting one's team to inadequate tools for the job displays a general lack of concern for workplace satisfaction of the staff. This obsolete technology may scream, "I don't care about my staff" even more so if the executives roll into work in their expensive cars and flashy watches while Cindy struggles to dislodge an expense report form from the clutches of the ancient printer. 


Older devices may also be costing your office in terms of security. With every new patch, a copier or printer's system is updated against cybersecurity threats—malware from would-be hackers more than happy to launch ransomware attacks or to sell your clients' personal data to the highest bidder. Though a new office MFD seems expensive, it's nowhere near as expensive as a lawsuit launched against your company once the copier's hard drive data has been compromised. 

Time Management

Time is money—including that 10 minutes that it took for your dusty printer in the backroom to grunt loose the meeting's presentation packets while top executives twiddled their thumbs and checked Linkedin (hopefully not for other jobs, but data says otherwise). Your old printer is likely eating more than paper and cartridges—its also gobbling up more of your team's time than Facebook and Instagram combined.  All of these reasons are grounds for employees to start shopping for new places to work—and likely your competitors who value printers that have more uptime than time collecting dust with an error code. 

Old Gear & Low Supply is Expensive

These outdated technologies and supply shortages also hurt productivity. Employees reported spending an extra 39.8 minutes a day dealing with outdated technology issues and 18.9 minutes dealing with issues attributed to a lack of supplies. If the mean income per capita in the U.S. is $48,150, the average worker makes around $23 per hour. When rounding the math, outdated business technologies and supply shortages are costing employers nearly $6,000 per employee per year in lost productivity. Ouch. This number still doesn't include the cost of replacing employees who quit due to frustrations over outdated office technologies.

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