Overcoming users' printer frustrations

Summary:Frustration is a fact of life, but we have a choice on how to deal with it. Unluckily for some, that means blowing a fuse no matter what; and luckily for others, letting rationality and coping mechanisms take over.

Frustration is a fact of life, but we have a choice on how to deal with it. Unluckily for some, that means blowing a fuse no matter what; and luckily for others, letting rationality and coping mechanisms take over.

The famous and parodied fax machine mugging scene in the cult classic Office Space  (Credit: Steve McCutchen)

The famous and parodied fax machine mugging scene in the cult classic Office Space (Credit: Steve McCutchen)

The printer fleet in your office, the underappreciated utilitarian workhorses of tech gear, needn’t be a source of agony for end users, and it’s a surprise that it is.

Before I go any further, I know what you’re thinking.  Frustration goes hand in hand with some of these complex feature-laden devices making them non-intuitive. Plus display gibberish like, “PC LOAD LETTER” can only fuel fires.

Still, IT or office managers can do more to educate end users on how to use document tools, rather than leaving it up to the office geek or a busy administrative assistant to step in during times of crisis.

Think about it. How many jobs have you had that provided a quick and dirty orientation for the fax/copy/print devices when you came on board? Maybe something like zilch?  Ok, then at least Include easy-to-find manual excerpts or tips on the company’s intranet? Maybe a few, or still nada?

Today’s thinking is that if you do white collar work then proficiency with all the gear around you is supposedly second nature, but it isn’t. So take some time to explain useful stuff like to how to set up a default printer, find them on the network, find and change a toner cartridge, set the right paper settings, etc.

Hooking up your team with general printing tips and tricks every now and then could keep usage smart and efficient, and costs down. And if you do all that, you’ll drastically decrease the chances of someone needlessly going ballistic over office equipment.

Topics: Hardware, Printers

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