How to print from a remote desktop

How to print from a remote desktop

Hybrid work environments are quickly turning organisational workflows upside down. Like never before, companies are pushing the boundaries of modern workplaces and bridging the gap between remote and in-office productivity. Consequently, organisations also need to adapt their essential print infrastructures to the new normal of hybrid working.

Whether you’re working in the office or at home, printing is a critical business function — one that shouldn’t be disrupted by distance. Remote printing, made possible by digital technology, helps an organisation streamline their print jobs and maintain efficiency.

Mastering the remote printer

Indeed, hybrid work is upending traditional workflows as we know them. In fact, Australian organisations that do employ a hybrid style of work are 28% more likely to innovate and 22% more productive, according to 2021 research from Telstra.

With benefits such as these, it’s hard to imagine hybrid workflows are going anywhere. In turn, remote desktop services are exceedingly important. Remote printing is an integral part of any modern print infrastructure. But what exactly is remote desktop printing and how does it work?

Imagine you’re working in the office but need to print somewhere remote. Or, on the other hand, you’re working in the field and need to send a time-sensitive hardcopy to the office. No matter your need, remote print solutions work in all directions.

Remote print is to modern workflows what the fax is to traditional businesses. In essence, remote desktop printing establishes a connection between a computer in one location and a computer and printer in another. That remote connection enables the user to print local documents to the remote location in a matter of seconds.

For example, if a user is working remotely in the morning but commuting to work in the afternoon, they can easily print documents to the office printer on their desk. When the user arrives at the office, the document is ready and actionable.

A casually dressed hybrid worker printing from his laptop in a cafe.
Remote printing allows you to complete any print job from any location

Benefits of printing from a remote desktop

For every business challenge, there’s an adequate digital solution. To mitigate the challenge of hybrid working, remote printing has a hoard of essential benefits. Here are the biggest assets that remote print has to offer:

  • Streamlined productivity: For employees working away from the office or in a separate location from the network printer, remote printing is a vital tool. Critical workflows often depend on a timely print job. Traditionally, sending important paperwork through the mail could take days. Thanks to a remote desktop connection, workers can send important physical documents (like signed paperwork) as fast as possible
  • Reduced cost: Many organisations use dedicated VPNs to facilitate their off-network printing needs. Most remote printing services, like Universal Print, eliminate that extra cost. Rather than spend more on VPNs, Universal Print facilitates remote connection via the cloud
  • Print security: Sending sensitive paperwork through the mail isn’t only slow, it’s also a security risk if documents go missing. With remote printing, the user can print documents from a local computer to the office where the right hands are waiting to receive them. Likewise, an integrated remote solution lets an organisation track important documents to ensure sensitive information isn’t being improperly printed at home
  • Simpler print management: With a solid remote infrastructure, the user has no need for an on-site print server or a dedicated printer driver on every device. Plus, remote print management is supported by real-time supply level tracking. Organisations can schedule printer maintenance and replenish ink or toner in advance of hardware failure

Adding a printer to your remote desktop

Before you can start reaping the benefits of remote print, you’ll first need the correct hardware.

When it comes to printers, make sure you’re using a network-enabled machine. Without a fleet of wireless printers, your workforce won’t be able to take advantage of remote printing. Most modern printers are already equipped with wireless technology, meaning they can be connected to the internet and cloud print solutions, like Universal Print.

To add a printer to Universal Print, follow these steps:

  • Check printer compatibility: First, make sure your printer supports Universal Print functionality. If you’re compatible, skip step 2
  • Download Microsoft’s Universal Print connector: For devices that don’t natively support Universal Print, use the connector to begin the registration process
  • Register your chosen printer: Follow the on-screen instructions to register your printer to the remote print network

Once completed, you’re ready to continue integrating your remote printing solution.

How to print from your remote desktop

Of course, the steps you’ll take to print from a remote desktop depend on which solution your organisation employs. To begin remote printing using Universal Print:

  1. Assign licenses to each user: In other words, assign permissions to access the remote print network
  2. Share registered printers to each user: Before an authorised user can access a registered printer, managers must first share that printer across the infrastructure
  3. Add your shared printers to each device: For a Windows device, open Settings. Select Devices > Printers & scanners. On this page, search for the shared printer and select Add device. For a Mac device, you’ll need to employ a partner solution such as Printix. With a partner solution, you can extend Universal Print’s capabilities for full Mac functionality

Once completed, users in your organisation can begin remote printing. The user can print documents as they normally would with the added flexibility of printing from any location on any connected printer.

Brother understands that the workplace as we know it is changing. That’s why it’s imperative that businesses adapt their printing needs to reflect the hybrid work environment. Employing a remote printing solution will support operational efficiency in the field and office alike. Get in touch with our team today to see how Brother and Universal Print can fulfill your remote printing needs.


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