Printing in Coworking Spaces – First Annual Report

ThinPrint Cloud Services’ unique position as a cloud based provider for printing in coworking spaces offers significant insight into the printing needs of members and the levels of printing service offered by print operators. Unlike surveys, the anonymized reports by the ThinPrint Cloud provide actual numbers. Numbers which space operators can use to plan printing costs and fine-tune their offering.

Nearly Every Coworking Space Offers Printing

In 2016 printing services were offered by virtually every coworking space. The reason is not that the coworking nomads of the 21st century all of a sudden prefer printed paper compared to iPads and smartphones, but , just like coffee, a large enough group of people rely on it.

In fact, only a third of members of a coworking space usually print in any given month. On average, they print 16 times, mostly on Tuesdays and almost never on Saturdays. The size of their print jobs varies slightly with the type of customers a coworking space attracts. In a quarter of all spaces, the average size of a print job was 3 pages or less. The median print job size across all measured spaces was 4 pages. This doesn’t mean that members only print small documents but that in general smaller documents outweigh larger ones.

Color Printing Nearly as Often as Black & White Printing

Interestingly, the assumption that black & white printing dominates over color printing turns out to be incorrect. With 46% of all print jobs being printed in color, black & white printing only has a small 8 point lead. That means that from a cost perspective, color printing costs coworking space operators roughly 5-10 times more than black & white printing. This was likely one of the reasons why about 10% of space operators opted to not even offer color printing to their customers in 2016. However, in more than a third of the spaces, color page printing exceeded black & white printing.

To put these results in perspective, keep in mind that just because a document does not contain any colors on the screen doesn’t mean that the printer driver doesn’t treat it as a color document. Furthermore, some printers create their grey scale output by mixing their individual colors and therefore always print in color. Both factors contribute to the large share of color printing in coworking spaces.

Monitor Coworking Printing Behavior

Another thing to consider is that all these numbers were gathered through the ThinPrint Cloud. So if you are a coworking space operator and you feel like this can’t be right because there is a lot more printing going on in your facility, you are probably right. Without ezeep, the monitoring and print management service, coworking spaces will likely see higher paper and toner consumption due to lack of quota management, cost accounting and increased misprints as well as abandoned printouts.

Let us know if you want to hear more, and also your views on the results of this report at [email protected]