8 ways to introduce contactless printing to your workplace
‘Flatten the curve’ – you’ve heard that term until you’re blue in the face. While we all wish COVID-19 was a thing of the past, the reality is we’re still not through the year. This pandemic is far from over.
But at the heart of ‘flatten the curve’ is a crucial strategy for combating this disease – harm minimization. We all have an individual and collective responsibility to do our utmost to reduce the risk we pose to ourselves, our loved ones, and the larger community.
Whether you’re still in your office or expected to return soon, an effective method of harm minimization is “contactless printing”. It’s a question many of our customers are already asking: are there better ways users print without touching shared surfaces?
The good news is PaperCutNG/MF allows for eight different methods of touch-free printing. We wrote an entire KB article about it. But for the TL;DR crowd, we’ll hit you here with the streamlined version.
Before we proceed, though, a few notes upfront.
Firstly, these options apply to a Find-Me printing environment.
Secondly, these options do not discuss photocopying, scanning, and other uses of MultiFunctional devices where a touch-free experience is unachievable.
However, we do have a blog post over here that breaks down manufacturers’ cleaning instructions for a variety of MFD brands.
But for now, let’s delve into the 8 different methods of introducing touch-free contactless printing to your workplace.
One last note, this truly is the TL;DR version. Some of these options have specific implications unique to particular printing environments. If a feature tickles your fancy, before implementing, please please inspect our full KB article for full details and considerations.
This is for PaperCut MF users with card-readers. Whether they’re built-into or externally attached to your printer.
If you’re already using card readers to authenticate with PaperCut, you can simply enable a touch-free solution for your Find-Me print users.
All you need to do is enable ‘automatically release jobs upon login’ option via the Admin web interface of PaperCut MF. When this is selected, print jobs will automatically release after users swipe their card at the printer.
This one’s similar to the previous swipe-card option. Users are able to swipe their card on the Fast Release Terminal to instantly release their print jobs.
Fast Release Terminals are usually engaged in printers not capable of having the PaperCut Embedded Application installed, but they can be used on any type of printer.
Our Mobile Print Release feature allows users to authenticate with their mobile devices. This can be optimized with a QR code for the truest touch-free option.
This essentially turns users’ mobile devices into Release Stations where you can view all held jobs. Select the print job for release, designate an output printer, and Bob’s your uncle.
For ease, you can attach a QR code to your printers for users to simply scan and automatically launch the Mobile Print Release app.
If the above options aren’t applicable to your printing environment, our user web interface print release option could be up your alley.
This is a webpage on your network that users can access with their PaperCut account to select the printer they wish to use.
Please be aware that if accessing the webpage with a mobile device and not a fixed device near the designated printer there may be security implications, so assess if this option is right for your environment.
Delegated print release allows certain users to authorize releasing print jobs on another user’s behalf. This option means a selected person can collect print jobs rather than numerous people heading in and out of the shared space.
This can be combined with the user web interface option so that the designated print job collector doesn’t need to touch the printer. This feature might not be suitable depending on document sensitivity and may come with time delays so please assess accordingly.
This one’s a bit tricky, as release stations have multiple uses, so please note we’re just focusing on providing a touch-free print experience here.
This is similar to the delegated print release feature, in that you can set up your Release Station so that only Release Managers have access to interact with holding jobs.
Again, like Delegated Print Release, this option has document sensitivity implications as well as possible time delays.
This will be the last resort if any of the above options unsuitable for your Find-Me print environment. The Admin web interface release station allows the ability to view, release, and delete held print jobs.
You can assign Admin Rights to users, which will give them access to the entire ‘Printers’ section. They then can access the ‘Jobs Pending Release’ page, cancel or print held jobs, and select which printer to release the print jobs.
This option may have security implications if a user isn’t directly near their designated printer. It also provides users with Admin rights.
This is the final option if any of the above features aren’t suitable for your printing environment.
If contactless printing is an absolute must and you’re unable to create a touch-free experience in your Find-Me printing environment with the discussed options, then your only option is returning to direct printing to your required printer.
There you have it!
8 different methods of creating a contactless, touch-free printing experience for your workplace. A reminder for scanning, copying, and other multi-functional devices to read our blog on brand-specific device cleaning recommendations.
Need more help?
For most of the above features, we highly recommend PaperCut MF customers reach out to your PaperCut Reseller to help configure the most suitable solution for your needs and printing environment.
For PaperCut NG customers, please reach out to our Support Team.
And if you’re looking for better ways to print, visit our “Better Ways to Print” hub below!