Office Machines Move Up Corporate Ladder

December 31, 1990

Nearly all American offices have copiers, and the vast majority have facsimile machines and personal computers, according to a survey released by Ricoh Corp., a leading office equipment company.

The survey, "Issues in the Office," also found that midlevel managers are increasingly heavy users of these machines, sometimes using them more than their support staff.

The survey of U.S. offices found that 94 percent have copiers, 87 percent have personal computers, 78 percent have fax machines and 57 percent have laser printers.

Twenty-nine percent of office managers use fax machines very often, vs. 15 percent for other office workers, and 48 percent of managers are heavy users of copiers, vs. 40 percent of other employees, the results showed.

"When first introduced, office automation products were intended largely to improve productivity among secretarial and clerical employees," said Mark A. Stanton, manager of production communications for Ricoh.

"However, we now see office equipment climbing the corporate ladder, so to speak," he said.

The study also showed larger offices are more likely to have office equipment. For example, 90 percent of large offices have fax machines, vs. 83 percent of medium and 60 percent of small offices.

Ninety-four percent of large offices are equipped with personal computers, vs. 89 percent for medium and 78 percent for small.

Ricoh said the survey was conducted in June by The Gallup Organization, a leading poll conductor based in Princeton, N.J., and was based on 500 telephone interviews with full-time office workers from around the country.

Ricoh also said that findings concerning the use of specific equipment had a sampling error of plus or minus 11 percentage points.

Based in West Caldwell, N.J., Ricoh is the U.S. subsidiary of Ricoh Co. Ltd in Tokyo, a $5.3 billion diversified, automated office equipment, electronics and photographic equipment company.

Ricoh is one of the world's largest manufacturers and marketers of copiers and fax machines.

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