Essential Office Equipment

Businessman working at computer in office
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If you’re setting up a professional office or making sure your home office is fully supplied, you’ll need basic office equipment such as phones, computers, and networking equipment. Make sure you have all the essentials you need.

Key Takeaways

  • If you have an at-home office, you’ll probably need at least a laptop, smartphone, and internet access to conduct business.
  • If you’re stocking a professional office, you’ll need to make sure you also have printers, shredders, and office furniture in order to work efficiently.
  • Mailing equipment, filing cabinets, copiers, and networking equipment round out an office's essential equipment list.

Computers

Information is the lifeblood of any successful organization. The key to leveraging information to your advantage is purchasing and implementing the right computers and software for your business.

You will also want to explore systems for backing up your business data. There are many online services available now that will save you from having to invest in secure and reliable on-site backup equipment for your office.

Business assets can be broadly categorized into three groups: tangible, intangible, and intellectual property. The assets discussed in this piece fall into the tangible category.

Laptops

Laptop computers give you extra mobility, with the ability to bring your work to meetings, presentations, conferences, and anywhere else you need to travel. Advances in storage, display, and computing power mean laptops are robust enough to serve as a primary computer for all but the most memory-intensive work.

Monitors

Computer monitors can be connected to desktop or laptop computers as a primary or secondary display, making it easier to work. Larger monitors also make it easy to share your screen with others in the room, such as during presentations or meetings.

Telephones

A common means for communicating with customers and vendors will be the telephone. Understanding what services, features, and options are available with your business phone will help buy the right size phone system for the right price for your business.

Smartphones

A smartphone allows you to access your work email and make phone calls from anywhere. It can also help you stay organized and on time. A seemingly infinite variety of smartphone apps for business let you work efficiently and intelligently.

Landlines

Landline phones will be especially useful for larger companies with multiple employees who need to talk to customers and each other throughout the day. It's easy to route phone calls to the appropriate party when your business uses a landline phone system.

Internet

If information is the lifeblood of the business, then computer networks are the veins and arteries that channel that information—via the internet—throughout all the parts of your business.

For your business to access the internet, you'll need Ethernet cables and a router. You'll also need a modem for connecting your network to the outside world, and with that modem, you'll need Internet service from a provider.

Software

Computers can't help you without software to run on them. The specific types of software you'll need will depend on the type of business you're running, but nearly every business will need access to word processing and spreadsheet software.

Security Software

Another critical piece of software is your security software, which is what protects your computers and networks from spam, hackers, and malware. Cyberattacks cost the U.S. economy billions every year, so firewall protection, antivirus software, and authentication software are a must when dealing with sensitive information.

Operating Systems

Windows or MacOS? Your business hardware will work the best if it all operates on the same basic operating system.

Printer

Information is organized, manipulated, and moved electronically but people still love and depend on paper. If it’s electronic, we want to print it. If it’s printed, we want to scan it. Buying one machine to do it all, like an all-in-one printer, can save you time and money.

Shredder

Just as quickly as we generate paper we must destroy it. Your business is responsible for the information it possesses, whether that's an employee’s personal information, a customer list, a client's sensitive materials, or a confidential memo. A paper shredder lets you safely destroy sensitive material before something goes wrong.

Information that you're responsible for that gets into the wrong hands can be devastating to your company and your clients.

Mailing Equipment

Documents, product samples, catalogs, and billing statements are just a few examples of items that may be shipped out of your company. The proper mailing equipment, such as scales and postage software, can save your company valuable time and money.

Furniture

Of course, you must have desks and tables for your office equipment to rest on—and chairs for yourself and your employees to rest on, too. Other important pieces of office furniture include bookshelves, filing cabinets, and storage systems.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What equipment is used in an office?

Most smoothly running offices use equipment such as computers, phones, printers, shredders, and furniture to get work done efficiently. Most offices will require mailing equipment, internet access, and software, too.

What are examples of equipment?

A common example of office equipment is a desktop computer setup, which consists of the computer tower, monitor, keyboard, and mouse. The computer likely has several important pieces of business software installed, such as Microsoft Word and Excel, and is probably connected to the internet via an ethernet cable or WiFi access point. Other examples of office equipment include printers and copiers, postage machines, telephones, and office furniture.

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Article Sources

  1. Small Business Administration. "Buy Assets and Equipment."

  2. Small Business Administration. "Strengthen Your Cybersecurity."