12 Most Useful Office Supplies and Equipment

The cult 1999 comedy Office Space did more to call attention to the importance of staplers than anything else.  In the film, a timid office worker called Milton (played Stephen Root) is extremely possessive of his prized red Swingline stapler. The stapler proves so popular that the company started manufacturing red staplers in 2002 (the prop stapler used in the film had been painted).

The Office Space stapler suggests how important office supplies can be. For any efficient office to function like a well-oiled machine, there are a few essential and indispensable office supplies that you can’t do without.  This list compiles the most useful office supplies.

1. Writing instruments

Sometimes it might feel like you can never find a pen when you really need one. A well-stocked office should have a steady supply of pens, pencils, markers (both dry-erase and permanent), and highlighters. Add erasers, white out, and pencil holders to this list. Numerous studies have revealed that many employees will admit to taking pens home with them from the office. Whether by accident or otherwise, pens are bound to vanish.

Consider this when buying office supplies for your business and be sure to select writing implements suitable to the nature of the work that your company does. Ordering branded writing implements with the company name or logo will at least let future users know where these pens et al came from!

2. Paper products & basic stationary

Even in the digital age when many businesses strive to keep paperless offices, paper remains a fixture of day-to-day business. The physical act of writing with pen and paper has been linked to the brain’s functions related to creativity.

Note taking helps people retain information. Determine the specific paper needs for your business and think outside the box. Does your business need spiral notebooks, writing pads, phone message pads, pocket notebooks, laser printer paper, copy paper, or stationary with the company letterhead? Strive to find a balance that meets best your needs while still respecting the environmental costs of unnecessary paper waste.

3. Paper clips

It is estimated that there have been more than 60 types of paper clips manufactured over the years, with availability in many sizes. Today there’s the binder clip, treasury tag, bulldog clip, brass fastener, and much more. Consider this when selecting. Incidentally, the world’s largest paperclip (45 feet long!) was unveiled in Kipling, Saskatchewan, Canada in 2007.

4. Glue & Sticky notes

No office should be wanting for other basic binding materials like glue, tape, rubber bands, staples, stapler, fasteners, glue, glue sticks, rubber cement, pushpins, and thumbtacks. Keep your office supply closet well stocked with these basics and monitor your inventory of these items on a monthly basis so that you know how many of each to order in the future.

The original Post–it® note was introduced in 1977, making one strain to imagine how offices got along without them. Today, sticky notes comes in a variety of sizes, colours, shapes, thickness and more.

5. Organization materials

Business information professionals certainly prefer materials to be made available digitally, so make sure to only file essentials. Popular filing supplies include manila file folders, hanging file folders, pocket folders, file labels, index dividers, tabs, and filing cabinets or bankers boxes. Report covers and three-ring binders also help businesses stay organized.

6. Boards!

Dry-erase boards, scheduling boards, poster boards, vision boards, tack boards, whiteboards, and to do lists come in handy when trying to share information around the office or in a meeting.

7. Scissors

Whether opening boxes, cutting paper, or making a bow frilly, every office needs scissors!

8. Mail supplies

No matter the size of a business, mail is a critical part of business operations.  Maintain a reliable stock of letter envelopes, catalog envelopes, padded envelopes, shipping labels, shipping paper, bubble wrap, sealing tape and other mailing materials.

9. Identification Supplies

Name plates, business cards, business card displays, and even name badges for visitors are important for the organization of an office.

10. Cleaning Supplies

Even if you have a professional cleaning service, anywhere whether there are a lot people will get dirty. Be prepared for basics by keeping basic cleaning supplies on hand. This should include bathroom and kitchen cleaning supplies, especially hand soap and disinfectant wipes.  Keep rubber or disposable gloves on hand as well.

11. Garbage Bags

Garbage and recycling bags will help remove any unexpected waste from the office, especially for work parties. Keep a steady supply of each and budget for their regular replacement.

12. Tissues and paper towels

Think about basics required in your home and wherever reasonable offer some of these items in stock. Tissues, paper towels, and even napkins are more than a courtesy for guests and employees. They help control the spread of germs within an office. Place several boxes of tissues throughout the office.

In all office supplies, quality matters. The old saying, “buy cheap, buy twice,” applies in office supplies. Quality stationary and office supplies make employees feel valued and can improve company morale.  Client-facing office supplies can also project a certain image for your company. Long trusted brands and products are often distinguished by their quality. Experienced office managers inspect products before buying in quantity.

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