Coworking spaces are popping up all over the globe. From Wellington to Morocco you can pull yourself up a chair and get working at a hot desk. The coworking space industry is predicted to continue growing rapidly as demand increases to have a flexible workspace like popular coworking spaces WeWork, The Wing, and Industrious.
There’s one teeny tiny thing that’s frustrating users, though - printing.
Today, I’m going to solve that teeny tiny problem once and for all. But first, some background …
Coworking spaces are everywhere
According to coworker.com there are 1,794 different coworking spaces to choose from in the United States. Over 500 in the United Kingdom and 300 in Australia. There’s a large variety of spaces from casual drop-ins to long term and laid back to super corporate spaces. Gitnux reports that there are approximately 18,700 coworking spaces around the blobe, and that could reach as high as 41,975 by the end of 2024.
I’ve worked out of a coworking space in New Zealand a handful of times and loved it! It screamed collaboration, learning and sustainability. Not only do coworking spaces provide a place to work, they often offer perks with the space. There was a real sense of community. I met some interesting people at the coffee machine and there was a cute dog, Roxy.
I never used a printer at the coworking space. It was just too scary. I often wasn’t familiar with the printer’s settings. This lead to printing errors such as double-sided printing, incorrect page orientation, or wrong print settings. Something as simple as printing out meeting minutes could turn into a nightmare, for both me, the person printing, and the people managing the printing system. And if I was struggling this much as an end-user, I can only imagine how frustrating printing could be for those poor IT department/sysadmins!
Solving printing in coworking spaces
What exactly do users struggle with when printing in coworking spaces? Some of the most common printing problems include:
- Connectivity issues: Sometimes the printer may not be properly connected to the network, causing printing errors.
- Driver deployment: If the printer drivers are not installed correctly or are outdated, it can cause printing problems.
- Low ink or toner: Coworking spaces often have high printer usage, which can result in low ink or toner levels. This can cause low-quality prints or prevent printing altogether.
- Printer compatibility: Coworking spaces may have printers from various manufacturers, and compatibility issues can arise when printing from different devices.
Luckily PaperCut just works in coworking environments. Here’s how PaperCut can make everyone in a coworking spaces life easier.
Managing printing is a must in these environments for cost recovery. There are a few different ways to charge people/businesses for the printing they do.
One example, you could allocate a quota per user/business and wrap the charge up with their monthly fees. If they reach their limit you can charge for their extra printing. With 50+ one click reports, you’ll have full visibility of all printing in your environment.
There’s also the option to integrate PaperCut with coworking space management software, to make billing users and receiving money even easier, which leads me to…
Integrate PaperCut with third party billing systems or payment gateways, such as PayPal.
For example, you may have heard of Nexudus, a common platform to manage coworking spaces. They’ve done the heavy lifting for their customers and built an integration to PaperCut software. You can allow users to go into a negative balance on their PaperCut account and it’ll pull that data to automate invoicing customers, not only printing but also renting the space. So no need to manually work out print costs via PaperCut.
Officially, there are more than 50 PaperCut integrations available (unofficially it’s hundreds).
Mobile and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) printing
Mobility Print - our BYOD solution - is an absolute lifesaver in a coworking environment. You can literally print from whatever device you bring to the coworking space. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, Chromebooks you name it.
By following a few simple steps, users can quickly discover and print to any printer, without requiring the assistance of a techie. No finding drivers, no joining domains and the best part is each user will have to verify who they are before they can print - ensuring all printing is accurately tracked and charged, making reporting and cost recovery a breeze. Too easy.
For users who frequent a coworking space and need to print from home then collect once they’re onsite, they can print remotely with the Cloud Print feature. Print from outside the network on Windows, Chromebook, and Mac devices. Press print when you’re at home on your device, stop by the cafe for a coffee, then collect your document when you arrive at the coworking space. Cloud print enablement on the go.
Embedded solution and secure print release
Ever hit CRL+P and sprint to the printer so no one sees what you’re printing? Those days are long gone with PaperCut MF and secure print release. You can securely release your print job when you’re standing at the printer via password, pin, or swipe card. This is key when sharing a building with other businesses and hiding secret start up ideas.
The embedded solution also tracks copying jobs and unlocks the world of scanning. Easy scanning to email, folder or cloud storage and turning document scans into text-searchable and editable smart documents to retrieve information easier than ever.
PaperCut for coworking spaces just makes sense. Less time worrying about printing, more time working (and patting Roxy).