Being an office manager is a huge responsibility. You have to be on top of everything your employees need so they work productively and increase business. This isn’t as easy as taking a stroll through the aisles of your local office supply store and grabbing what you like.
It doesn’t matter if your office space is large or small. You need to take a hard look at your office space and think realistically about where you will put cubicles, meeting spaces, printers, computers, and everything else your company needs.
Need a list to help you get organized? Here are some things to consider when setting up your office. Note that while most of these items will apply, it’s possible that some won’t.
Office Furniture and Equipment
Every employee is going to need a desk and chair, at the very least. Don’t overlook general office supplies such as pens, paper, and notepads. Staplers, scissors, envelopes, and folders can be kept in a general area so employees can share them and use them as needed.
A white board with markers may come in handy, especially for meetings. Wastebaskets should be in every office, and there should be a recycling bin located somewhere in the office. Every office should also have a first aid kit handy since accidents can happen anywhere.
As far as equipment goes, you should have a printer and copy machine. Some offices opt for all-in-one devices, which combine a copier, fax machine, scanner, and printer. This can not only save you some money but help clear up extra space as well. Instead of having to accommodate four devices, you’ll need to find space for only one. Don’t forget the ink cartridges. Make sure you always have extras on hand because not being able to print can be a huge inconvenience.
Employees need computers to do their jobs. The computer should be a desktop with a monitor. The computer should be equipped with all the software your employee needs. Depending on the employee’s role, he or she may need Microsoft Office, accounting software, desktop publishing software, inventory software, or website maintenance software. Keyboards and mice are also needed.
If employees work at home often, you should invest in laptops as well. Company laptops should be equipped with all the software and server access your employees need so they can do their job efficiently from home.
You should consider surge protectors, which will protect your computer in the event of a sudden power outage. Locks are useful to prevent theft.
Phone and internet connections are also essential so employees can do business. Each desk should have a professional phone system complete with voicemail. You can purchase these types of phones at office supply stores. Those who are on the phone most of the time may want headsets. Broadband should be set up so everyone can easily connect to the internet. You may wish to give certain employees cell phones for business use.
Storage is essential for any business. You’ll need to store employee paperwork, client information, mail, and manuals. You’ll also want to store documents specific to the company’s operations, such as procedures and training materials. A tall three- or four-drawer standing cabinet may work best. Each drawer should contain file folders to keep everything organized.
Even if you have overhead lighting, each desk area should have task lighting available as well. Desk lamps can help employees focus on their tasks and avoid eye strain.
Blank white walls with no decorations can make an office quite dull and boring. Bright wall colors and fun art prints can spruce up an office and make employees feel more comfortable. You can find office décor for cheap on Craigslist and at discount retailers.
If you plan to have meetings with clients, you’ll need to make a good impression. You don’t necessarily need a large area, but it should be in a semi-private area separate from employee cubicles. Even the break room may suffice.
Nothing is more frustrating than not having the right office supplies. Your job as an office manager requires you to always be thinking one step ahead. When you have everything you need to run your office, your business will be poised for success.