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10 Top Printer Industry Trends To Watch In 2021

While this year is likely to see an increase in office printing, opportunities around serving work-from-home print needs are expected to continue.

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Continued Focus On WFH Print

While the pandemic led to a widespread shift of work into the home, a recent IDC survey shows there will still be plenty of work-from-home even after some sense of normalcy is resumed, Kmetz said. “We’re going to return to the office, because we still like the social component, but there will still be a lot of work-from-home,” he said. The survey data shows that at-home working was roughly 10 percent of the market pre-pandemic--but that will approach about 30 percent of the mix post-pandemic, Kmetz said. “That’s an exponential change—and that’s going to have implications for the print marketplace,” he said.

While bringing major changes for office printing, the arrival of the “hybrid” workforce also means a continued reliance—and opportunity—around work-from-home printing, Kmetz said. “There’s a notable difference between what we’ve been equipped with in our homes versus what the in-office work experience has been,” he said. “And if we want our employees to be at a maximum productivity level, there’s a need to address several IT- and print-related challenges associated with that.”

Of course, one of those challenges is getting at-home users the level of support and services that they’re accustomed to in the office—which is what solution providers such as St. Louis Park, Minnesota-based MARCO has been focused on since the start of the pandemic, said Dan Larkin, director of managed print services at MARCO. The solution provider has been offering services ranging from remote support to repairs as “part of the baked-in deliverable” for its managed print services customers, Larkin said. And the strategy of serving both remote and in-office users will continue at MARCO, with the hybrid workforce here to stay, he said. Overall, “it will force companies and service providers to have that remote strategy and deliverable as part of their offering,” Larkin said.

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