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Office Etiquette: Printer and Copier Edition

Posted Wed, June 11, 2014

Not one of us has worked in an office environment for any length of time without being on the receiving end of an “Office Printer Violation.” These citation-worthy infractions run the gamut from hogging the machine for long periods of time to making ego-centric assumptions that everything on the copier belongs to you.


Since the office copier is shared by many people, operating with courtesy is paramount for keeping the environment amicable. And so, we are listing here the Seven Commandments for Office Printer Etiquette.

Now, raise your right hand, and repeat after us:

1. I will not walk away from the copy machine knowing that I have exhausted the entire paper supply. Refilling the machine, or alerting someone, will only take a couple minutes.

2. I will do my best to clear the paper jam or copier misfeed. Following the directions usually clears up the problem quickly – and feels better than feigning innocence.

3. I will not hog the printer for multiple, lengthy print jobs. Perhaps a lesser used printer in a different part of the building can help me finish the print job while keeping the peace with my office neighbors.

4. I will not wait until every drop of the toner is used to place an order for more toner. Just as my fear of walking a mile to the nearest gas station encourages me to stop when the fuel gauge signals me, my dislike for streaks and smudges as well as the high probability that an important report will need to be submitted keep me from ignoring that flashing “low toner” signal.

5. I will not leave my bright red or lime green paper inside the copy machine once I finish printing bake sale or yard sale flyers for this weekend. My office neighbors just might become annoyed at the idea of having to reprint because I forgot to remove the extra sheets of neon colored paper.

6. I will take a quick look at the papers I picked up from the printer, assuring that each page I have picked up is, indeed, mine. My co-worker was less than enthused about walking the floor to ask for that report last time.

7. I will not eat or drink while using the copier, and I will be careful to keep the platen clean. The smudged glass and spilled drinks threaten the quality of the print jobs coming from this machine, and my nosy co-worker would be more than happy to share my secret--that copier time doubles as snack time.

In short, by being considerate of my co-workers and doing my part to take care of the copier/printer, we all can be happier each day.

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Tags : printing , office , guides