More than a quarter (28 percent) of office workers in Europe don't see the need for colour printing in the business environment, says Lexmark.

A survey of 970 office works across 12 European countries, including the UK, revealed 68 percent of office staff says their firms produces less than a quarter of its document in colour. Photographs were the most common document printed in colour in businesses, with 52 percent of office workers admitting to printing these in their office, and they were closely followed by presentations with 47 percent and brochures with 34 percent.

More than half (54 percent) said colour documents look more attractive, while 41 percent claim they create a more professional approach and 29 percent believe they ensure the reader's attention.

Furthermore, the survey also revealed high costs were the most popular reason for not printing in colour, cited by 49 percent of respondents, while eight percent claimed they'd didn't have access to a colour printer and four percent said it was company policy not to print in colour.

"The survey shows that fears about high costs are the main reason companies stick to black only printing," said Gary Bourland, country general manager for Lexmark UK & Ireland. "However, concerns over the costs may be unfounded."

Bourland said firms could utilise controls such as defined colour darkness settings and colour print permissions that define who in a company has access to colour devices in a bid to keep costs low.

"Colour printing is often viewed as an added bonus in the office rather than standard practice, despite the fact that many recognise the benefits of producing more professional looking documents when the need arises."