Concern about shadow IT purchasing and remote document security offer opportunities for print vendors
19th January 2021: Print industry analyst company Quocirca today published Home Printing Trends 2021: Trends and opportunities in the remote working era, the second edition of its analysis into the changing home office sector. The research, conducted among 455 home working employees based in the UK and US, shows that remote and hybrid working is here to stay as home workers continue to report improved productivity, with 70% expecting to work fully or partly from home from now on.
The study examines employees’ home office technology purchasing since working from home, including the print brands they are most likely to consider, as well as the security concerns and measures taken by businesses to prevent data breaches.
Key research findings at a glance:
- 87% of formerly office-based workers say they are equally or more productive when working from home.
- 70% do not expect to return to the office full-time. Of these 18% expect to work entirely from home; 52% will work flexibly between home and office.
- 51% of home workers are concerned about information security when using their home printer.
- Fewer than half of employees (46%) have received training on document security.
- 17% of respondents have been provided with a printer for work use by their employer.
- 38% say they are not reimbursed for work-related print costs.
- 42% have upgraded their printer since working from home. Of these 58% replaced a single-function printer with a multi-function device.
- 22% have purchased a new printer in the past year.
- HP is the brand that most home workers already own (49%)
Louella Fernandes, Director, Quocirca, comments: “As home working has become embedded, employees are now upgrading their home office technology. With few employers providing home office hardware, these purchases constitute shadow IT and may introduce unmanaged security risk.
“Businesses should now be focusing on providing authorised home office hardware to help employees stay productive and secure. This represents an opportunity for print vendors and the channel to incorporate devices and support for home workers into managed print services.”
Level of security concern varies between countries
Quocirca’s research found that just over half (51%) of respondents are very or somewhat concerned about information security when using their home printer. Concern is much higher in the US, where 61% are concerned about document security, compared to just 40% in the UK.
Overall, only 46% have been given training on document security and 34% have been given guidelines on secure document disposal. One third of organisations have updated their BYOD policy and 13% of respondents have been advised not to print on home devices at all. In all cases, US organisations have put more measures in place compared to their UK counterparts.
Evolving home offices offer opportunities for print vendors
The report reveals which printer brands home workers currently own, and their perceptions of different vendors’ technology leadership in home printing. It also explores which brands workers would consider when buying new devices to furnish their home office.
When purchasing a new device, the most important features identified by respondents are low running costs, high reliability and easy maintenance. This echoes the features home workers most miss about printing in the office, with “being able to print for free” and “maintenance being someone else’s problem” missed by 46% and 47% of respondents respectively. The top feature homeworkers miss is print speed, cited by 57%. This indicates that the home devices they have been using as a stop-gap are not meeting their longer term home office needs.
Louella Fernandes comments: “Brands that have a strong consumer offering have an obvious initial advantage in the home office market but, as home working becomes permanent, we will see purchasers looking for performance more typical of office devices – particularly speed and multifunctionality. This offers brands with a strong heritage in the office market an opportunity to draw on that reputation to offer devices that have the features workers need combined with the security, visibility and management capabilities needed by their employers.”
Quocirca’s Home Printing Trends 2021: Trends and opportunities in the remote working era report is available now for purchase. View a free-of-charge executive summary.
Quocirca is a global market insight and research firm providing strategic market analysis and intelligence to print industry business and technology leaders. Quocirca specialises in analysing the convergence of print and digital technologies in the future workplace.
Since 2006, Quocirca has played an influential role in advising clients on major shifts in the market. Our consulting and research is at the forefront of the rapidly evolving print services and solutions market, trusted by clients who are seeking new strategies to address disruptive technologies.
Trusted by global industry organisations, Quocirca offers a wealth of specialist knowledge across the connected print ecosystem. Our extensive research activities are backed up with rigorous analysis and a robust primary research programme.