Paperless office? 2,800 billion pages printed in 2020, down 14% or 450 billion sheets • The Register

About 450 billion fewer pages were printed from home and office devices in 2020 as COVID-19 disrupted the world of work.

The direction of travel has been obvious lately: People were printing less before the pandemic even set in, but the drop was more pronounced last year as volumes plunged 14% from 2019 levels. to reach a total of 2,800 billion pages, according to IDC.

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Unsurprisingly, employees who were told to stay indoors and work from home saw the number of laser pages printed drop by 16%, a drop even more pronounced for A3 devices.

Conversely, pages printed on inkjet printers increased 4% from the previous 12 months. Inkjets were typically used primarily for personal printing before COVID-19 rocked the world.

According to the IDC 2021 end-user survey of 4,700 people, about 50% of the pages printed at home were work-related documents. In Western Europe, for example, around 15 percent of the pages were printed for school / educational purposes and the rest for personal matters.

IDC print survey

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This dynamic can be seen in the financial results of the largest printing vendor: HP’s commercial printing equipment revenue fell 22% to $ 923 million for its full 2020 fiscal year ended in October. Its consumer printing equipment grew 21% to $ 772 million, and its supplies business fell 1% to $ 3.159 billion.

IDC predicts a 2% rebound in page volume for 2021 and a return to the downtrend from next year, falling faster than the days before COVID as many employees mix work from home with commuting to the office or other sites.

According to Gartner, 47% of knowledge workers will work remotely next year, up from 19% in 2019.

Illona Stankeova, IDC Europe Senior Research Director for Imaging Devices & Document Solutions, said: “Home-printed pages will not compensate for declines in offices as organizations and governments continue to pursue paperless initiatives. and digital transformation programs. “

She estimates that the people of the world will print 2.3 trillion pages in 2025. “Despite this decline, that amount still represents approximately 4.4 million pages printed worldwide every minute covering the area of ​​39 football fields every minute. “

A typical package of 500 sheets of paper has been estimated by the Sierra Club to weigh five pounds, which works out to about 10,000 to 20,000 sheets per tree. ®

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