Giving you back time.

Tips for Saving Time in Your Office

I read an article the other day by Una McDevitt, where she outlined some interesting stats about time and our use of it. At Highline Office Technology, one of our mantras is that we ‘give you back time’, so I wanted to explore this further where it relates to office equipment and office technology in today’s world.

‘We spend an average of eight hours a day at work. To break that down and put it into context, eight hours equates to only 480 minutes – and those 480 minutes have to be allocated across all of the many tasks that we are expected to complete in a working day.’

Una continued the article to say that ‘research shows that people are interrupted, on average, every seven to nine minutes while in the office. When you consider the breadth and scale of the job that you do, you’ll agree that 480 minutes a day seems like quite a limited resource to allocate. It would seem impossible to get all our work done within such a limited period. Many people work overtime to get it all done and still find that they never get their ‘to-do’ list completed.’

She continues the article, saying ‘The key to effective allocation of each of those precious minutes lies in having clarity around your job role and key areas of responsibility. Good time managers are not good at managing time – instead, they are good at managing themselves within the limited time that is available to them.

These people have a very important attitude towards time – they recognise that each minute is precious and used carefully.’

If you’d like to figure out how to manage yourself, you can read more on Una’s five tips for effective prioritisation.

So I wanted to bring this notion of time into the office environment. If you recognise that time is precious and to be used carefully, do you attribute this value to tasks and where your team spend their time?  And is the use of this time, the best use of it, and does the use of this time fit into your company strategy? Often, it is really simple things that can steal time, so what if there was a better way to manage the equipment and your office environment?

It’s safe to say that most of us are time poor or at least that we struggle to optimise the use of our time. A lot of offices still feel it necessary to have the receptionist scour websites to get the best price on toner, to order it in, to stock pile it and often they’ll lose time if the toner isn’t in stock, so it hinders precious productivity, as the jobs can’t be printed.

What if the toner was part of a Managed Print Service solution and was monitored and sent out before it ran out, and simply arrived when required – how much time would this save and how much productivity would it help drive?

Many offices are increasing the amount of scanning that they are undertaking, as they have a cloud-based process or desire to have less paper in the office, which is fantastic and all going towards helping the environment. But what software has been taken into the office to help with this process and change of paper management?  Probably none!

If it’s an old multi functional device (MFD), it’s more than likely that the printer has a ‘dual-pass’ scan, i.e. for a duplex printed piece of paper, the paper goes in, back out, is turned and then goes back into again…for each scan, this amounts to a lot of time used for scanning and also, it’s far more likely that paper is going to jam as the parts will break down more quickly. The scanners on MFDs are really useful for up to 100 sheets a day, but for more than this, a separate scanner should be considered in the office.

For offices that do a lot of scanning, I always advise investing in a ‘single pass’ scanner.  This scans both sides of the sheet in one pass, so it will save a lot of time. Just think about every sheet that goes into the scanner and all the people scanning through the day.

If your team is doing a lot of scanning, then they can’t use the print function at the same time, so again, it’s advisable to consider having a separate scanner for large scale scanning and to keep the printer free for printing, copying and for occasional scanning. You can view our range of scanners here.


I did a recent post on the business benefits of eCopy for businesses that are doing a lot of scanning, so you can read more about it here. Suffice to say that if you need to digitise files, convert from pdf to word, excel, powerpoint, activate Bate’s numbering, convert a word file to audio so that you can listen to it, then you should not be without eCopy in your office. It’s amazing! It’s not expensive at all and will save you a huge amount of time…it pays to embrace the software and technology available when changing how you manage and run your office!

Is your MFD configured to your current office requirements?

I spend quite a bit of time working with businesses to ensure that their device is configured to their actual needs, around use of A4 paper, A3, headed notepaper etc. The more I can understand about how they business runs, the better I can advise on the best set up of the device.

The Canon printers and MFDs have a nifty paper tray capacity of 550 sheets. And why does this matter: you can put the full ream into the tray and it’ll let you know when the paper is running low, so you have time to replenish the stock and the paper doesn’t run out in the middle of a job! Would that save time and frustration?

The Canon devices also have motion sensors on them, so that they start to boot up when they sense you walking towards the device…also saving some time and frustration.

Is the device fast enough for your business? If your business is growing and expanding, then you probably need to look at a faster device.

The focus on time is one that I’ll be delving into further in my next blogs, as it’s critical and we all want to avoid time being stolen and make our lives a little bit easier.  The Highline Office Technology team is here to help, so if you’d like to arrange a FREE health check on your office equipment, we are at 01 4097034 and [email protected].