Recent newspaper reports prompted by an article in The Lancet warning of the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle make uncomfortable reading for offie workers. Thanks to mobile technologies and a change in attitudes to flxible working, far fewer offie workers are ‘chained to their desks’ than was the case just a few years ago, Even so, most of us still spend far too long sitting, staring at a screen (in the offie and at home). It is easy to become absorbed in a task and not move around as much as one should. Printing is one way to break the spell. Getting up, walking across the offie to collect a print, taking the opportunity to talk to a colleague, and then reading the hard copy probably won’t extend your life, but it might make you more comfortable and alert. Perhaps this is one reason why offie workers still like to print, as we report on page 8. Managers eager to accelerate their digitisation agenda should not ignore employees’ preferences. In making the case for the paperless offie, they should give paper the recognition it deserves and not overlook its and printing’s many benefis.
In the last year or two printer companies have been attempting to position MFPs as platforms for delivering apps, much like smartphones. On the face of it, the relatively small number of apps that have emerged only goes to show how peripheral MFPs are to people’s daily routines and how much better smartphone apps are for the sorts of task that used to be done on an MFP, such as scanning expenses receipts. Overselling MFPs as an app platform should not, however, obscure the fact that some apps are potentially very signifiant. Mobile printing apps are an obvious example. More recently, vendors have introduced workflw apps for streamlining business processes and diagnostic apps that have the potential to transform MFP servicing and maintenance (see page 30). These might not be as fun as your favourite smartphone apps, but they are probably much more useful.
James Goulding, Editor