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How to Print in the New Normal

By September 1, 2020January 27th, 2023Uncategorized
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We’re probably all familiar with this scenario – its mid-morning, seems like everyone in the department has a meeting in 5 minutes and needs to print something, so there’s a long line at the printer. Or, you get to the printer and it’s out of both ink and paper. These situations lead to multiple people touching various parts of the printer and the necessary supplies, and potentially needing to be close together in a confined space, neither of which are advised during a global pandemic. Here are some recommendations for creating safer ways for everyone to print when they need to in the workplace:

Decentralize Your Printing Stations

To avoid those long lines forming around one printer, we suggest creating multiple stations for the employees nearby to use. These should be located near those who print most often in order to reduce the traffic flow of people traveling around the building to find a printer. The decentralized approach of four employees to one device, recommended by our partners at Brother, will improve productivity and help your employees feel safer. Creating these right-sized operations will also help remove bottlenecks and cut costs. In addition, be sure to communicate the new layout to your employees so they know which station they should be using, and use signs to regulate traffic flow patterns and social distancing.

Give Your Employees the Tools They Need for Success

Employees and departments will have differing printing or scanning needs depending on job functions, so make sure to provide them with just what they need. If the only multi-function machine is on the other side of the building from the HR department who needs to scan forms frequently, they will spend time unnecessarily traveling over to it, and potentially spreading germs along the way. Talk to your employees about what they need the most to help choose the right equipment for your workplace. Other solutions from Brother can be implemented to better adapt to the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and help make your printing processes easier, including:

  • Badge authentication using Secure Print+ enables employees to securely retrieve printed documents when they get to the printer, and ensures sensitive documents aren’t rummaged through.
  • Brother iPrint&Scan allows users to access machines from their mobile device, which minimizes direct contact.
  • Workflow shortcuts with icons can be added to or removed from the touchscreen display so users can find the actions they need to perform quickly and minimize front panel contact.
  • Advanced scan solutions for users in various locations to easily share important information.
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Keep Your Devices Clean

While creating additional printing stations to spread out traffic will help your employees feel safer, disinfecting your devices regularly is also very important to slow the spread of germs. Before you start cleaning, remember to turn off your device and disconnect the power cord from the outlet. Also, make sure you are in a well-ventilated or open-air space. Gently wipe down high-touch surfaces, including display screens, using a lint free cloth with a disinfectant solution made of 70% isopropyl alcohol and 30% water – be sure that the cloth is damp, not wet. Do not spray any liquids directly onto the machine. Before reconnecting the power cord and turning the machine back on all surfaces must be completely dry.

Implementing these new technologies and procedures will help keep your business running smoothly and safely as employees begin to transition back to the workplace.


Brother International Corporation. “Taking Precautions in the New Six-Foot Office”. 2020. PDF File.