Can the employee use the company printer for personal purposes? Is this provided for in labor legislation or is it at the discretion of each company?
Can the employee discuss this with the manager? Understand more about it in the article below!
What we will see in this article
Can you use the company printer for personal purposes?
Printing documents, memos, contracts and other papers is a common routine within many companies. Thus, it is natural that these organizations have their own printers and sometimes even a sector or employees to take care of it.
The fact that the work company has a printing facility may cause some employees to develop a false belief that it is okay to print personal documents on the company printer.
Then they may not feel embarrassed to print out papers academics on the company printer, texts for reading, personal contracts, legal documents or planners.
However, this judgment is mistaken and the reason is quite simple; Employees should never take any action in the company without the knowledge of their superiors. Doing “hidden” or without authorization characterizes unethical conduct on the part of the employee.
Why is printing documents in the company without authorization unethical?
Because the cost of maintaining a printer, especially in a corporate context, is very high. That is why printing documents in the company without authorization is unethical.
This is one of the devices that tends to generate the most problems and headaches in companies.
Therefore, the use of the equipment and materials used in printing, such as cartridges, are for professional use only.
For this reason, there is no obligation for the employer to allow its employees to use the printer for their personal purposes.
What does the legislation say?
The articles of the CLT, which govern the principles of labor conduct, do not specifically address the issue of printer use.
However, there is a clear understanding that misuse of the internet or company equipment, as well as insubordination, are punishable by the employer.
Possibility of dismissal for cause
In more extreme cases, where employees use the printer to make hundreds of prints without consent, this can even lead to a situation of dismissal for cause.
This is because such a situation characterizes a clear financial loss to the company, as well as an act of insubordination (if there has not been an express authorization for this purpose).
Can you imagine the professional damage of being fired for just cause, something that is marked in the person’s work history, for a trivial reason like that? It is something that is totally avoidable.
Hiding is not a good tactic
Malicious employees may even create situations or contexts that allow impressions to be made. For example, carry them out after the end of working hours or when there are no other people in the company.
However, this malpractice is not usually successful as most companies have a way of knowing if more than the usual number of prints have been made.
Nowadays, there are even specific chips for accounting for printed pages, as well as other measures for managing print control.
If necessary, ask for permission
Whether or not personal printing is allowed in a company is up to the person in charge or manager.
So, if an employee needs to print an important document, such as a paper to perform a procedure or to enter a selection process, he/she must ask for a formal authorization.
Formal authorization does not mean that the employee needs to do it through memos or sectors, it is enough to have a frank and honest request to your manager.
Surely, if it is the printing of only one or two papers, most leaders will not be reluctant to authorize it.
However, if it is an explicit company rule not to allow personal impressions, there is nothing the employee can do to reverse it.
Companies should invest in print control
For all this, it is essential that each organization has a good control over the prints made in the company.
If it is not possible to concentrate all printing in a single sector or with specific people, it is important to make all the rules clear on how to proceed to print documents.
Investment in control and management technology is one way to cope with this kind of demand. At the same time, many companies also adopt an internal camera policy to identify if inappropriate situations have occurred.
Investing in education and awareness-raising is a good strategy to prevent problems related to non-compliance with printing rules from happening.
It is important that employees understand that the fact that they use the printer to print work files does not authorize them to print personal files such as photographs, texts or school assignments.
Unless, of course, there is an express authorization for him to print the file. Even so, it is natural that many companies adopt a policy with little flexibility.
After all, if all employees have weekly printing demands, this will generate an extra cost to the company’s coffers.
Display of data relating to printers
An effective way to help raise awareness is to display print data. The manager can show how many sheets the company spends per month, what is the value of new or refilled cartridges, how much should be invested in maintenance.
Financial cost awareness helps employees visualize that nothing is done “for free” despite the false impression that one thing or another will not impact the budget;
As we talked about in the topic above, it all depends on demand, quantity and recurrence. With common sense, it is entirely possible to allow your employees to print important documents, for example.
Set savings targets as a team
Awareness-raising can be the starting point for setting collective goals, such as reducing the need for paper printouts.
In addition to collaborating with the economy of inputs and budget, it is a great way to contribute to the reduction of environmental waste and preservation of nature!