What is the best printer/copier for home use?

Home printing is a must for telecommuters that work outside the office. Today, more employees than ever before are choosing to work remotely. In a recent Wrike telecommuting survey, 83% of participants revealed that they worked from home for at least part of the workday.

Some of the top benefits of working remotely included saving time at 41%, increased productivity at 29%, and more focus on work at 10%; disadvantages included a lack of direct communication at 37%, hindrance to data accessibility at 21%, and poor visibility into colleagues' activity at 19%.

Fortunately, several of these disadvantages can be addressed by choosing the right communication tools between the main office and remote employees. Remote professionals can benefit from a reliable Internet connection, compatible software programs, and access to an office printer to manage home-based printing tasks.

How to select the best copier for home-office connectivity

Choosing the best printer/copier to support a remote employee is far different from selecting a home printer for a family. A telecommuter will need access to a high functioning printer that can live up to in-office expectations and receive print commands while away from their desk.

While there are a number of home and small business printers on the market, it's important for a machine to have the following features as a starting point:

  • All-in-one functionality, i.e. printing, copying, scanning, and faxing in the same machine
  • Inkjet printing*
  • Network-ready wireless or wired connection
  • Color or black-and-white printing and copying, as needed
  • Automatic capabilities, i.e. auto duplexing, auto document fix, auto scan, auto photo fix, and more

*For small office/remote use, inkjet printing is recommended over laser printing. In most cases, laser printers are best to support large print volumes in high quality color or black-and-white images. Inkjet printing will more than suffice for a telecommuter that prints less than 500 pages per week.

Average small office printer prices

When chosen carefully, a small office printer can serve as a top communication tool to process remote printing jobs from a telecommuter. A remote sales professional that frequently prints client contracts for the in-house finance department won't have to skip a beat when connected to a full-featured printer in the office.

All-in-one inkjet printers are affordable for office use, starting at $149 with four capabilities to print, copy, scan, and fax. A 4-in-1 all-in-one inkjet printer with high speed color and black-and-white printing may cost as much as $799.99. A basic wireless inkjet printer with single-function printing could cost as little as $40 without extra features.