Types of office equipment and their functions

Types of office equipment and their functions

Modern day office is furnished with so many different types of office equipment that it might be hard for some people to understand what is going on. Luckily, we have an article on types of office equipment and their uses, which might help some clueless souls understand things better.

Types of office equipment and their functions

What is office equipment?

The definition of office equipment is pretty straightforward: it is an umbrella term for the machinery, supplies and other paraphernalia that can be found in an office. This includes everything, from various electronics to mops and thumbtacks.

Through the ages, the appearance and the contents of a regular office have changed greatly. What was once regarded as state-of-the-art equipment has become obsolete in the modern day world. However, we are not here to talk about the past. We want to talk about different types of office equipment and their uses in the contemporary office.

First, we will touch on seven essential things no office can operate without. Then, we will also consider some office equipment that is not strictly necessary, but it might make life easier.

Let’s go!

Basic office equipment list

basic equipment

Even if your office is the size of a tiny cupboard, there are things that should absolutely be in it. Without them, running a business would be incredibly hard, if not impossible. Therefore, we have prepared a list of seven things you most definitely need to have in your office. Check it out!



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Not that long ago, offices were filled with loud noises from typewriters. Every possible surface was covered with giant heaps of paper. People had to count on calculators or even abacuses. There was no Solitaire or Internet. Life of an office worker was not very fun.

With the arrival of the digital age, those problems went away. Computers quickly replaced the outdated and clunky typewriters and calculators, minimised the need for storing information in a physical form and generally made things much easier.

These days, a computer can do almost anything. When it comes to the office environment, its main functions are recording, calculating and storing important corporate data that can be easily accessed at any moment. If the office has Internet, computers also provide convenient means of communication inside and outside the company, as messages are delivered instantly.



Even though Internet is slowly reducing the need for telephones in offices, they are still essential for the proper functioning of the company. Not every person enjoys the written form of communication, and not all people have access to Internet. Therefore, if you want your office to be reachable, you absolutely need to have a phone.

Apart from making and receiving calls, modern office phones have many other useful functions. For example, if you have a lot of clients but a small amount of employees, you can put your callers on hold or ask them to leave a message on the answering machine. In addition, some phones also function as fax machines, which allows sending and receiving documents and files that are not digitised.



Sometimes, having only a digital copy of a file is not enough. Some documents require physical signatures, therefore, they need to be printed out. Also, digital data storage devices are not 100% reliable. That is why every office, no matter how small, needs a printer.

The function of a printer is very clear: it prints things. Depending on the model, it can print anything, from small photos to large posters. A printer is a very useful machine that makes working at the office much easier, as it can print many copies as long there is paper.

For those who like to be fancy and futuristic, there are also 3D printers that turn any digital 3D image into a physical tangible object. Some offices might require 3D printers if they are working with modelling or design (for example, architecture companies).



While there is always a need to print things out, there might also be a need to convert a printed document into a digital form. That is where scanners come in. They can take anything, be it a letter, an image, a photo film or even a face, and make it digital.

Scanners come in handy when you need to digitise some old documents or scan a physical photograph of a new employee. Additionally, you can even transform the scanned documents back into text form with the use of additional software.



Copiers are slightly outdated but still useful machines that allow you to make almost infinite copies of whatever you need. While printers and scanners are very reliant on computers, copiers can copy things without them.

These days, most offices purchase machines that carry out the functions of printers, scanners and copiers all in one. They are bulkier and slightly more expensive, but they are much more convenient, as you can scan, print and copy things using one machine and not three.



Every company has confidential materials that should never end up in the wrong hands. This includes personal files on past and present employees, secret files or financial documentation. If there were a need to dispose of them, it would be inappropriate to simply throw them in the trash, as someone might find them and use them to their advantage.

That is why most offices need shredders. They come in all sizes: some are as small as shoeboxes, while others are as large as closets. The size of a shredder should depend on the size of the company and the amount of documents that might need to be destroyed.

Office stationery


All the machines we have mentioned are great and all, but most of them cannot function without such a simple thing as paper. Therefore, one of the most important things on this list is stationery. Apart from paper, this also includes pens, staples, paper clips, sticky notes and other things.

Stationery has many functions, from keeping things together (scotch tape, paper clips or staples) to labelling and serving as a reminder (sticky notes, markers and pens).

Additional office equipment list

additional office equipment

What we have listed above is the absolute minimum for any respectable office. However, if you have some additional funds to spend, consider investing in the following things:

  • Miscellaneous electronic equipment. In addition to what we have mentioned above, some offices also have webcams, headsets, TVs, air conditioning units and so on. These things are not obligatory, but they make working at the office more pleasant. In addition, there are also all sorts of Internet equipment, including modems, Wi-Fi routers, ports, servers, etc., which are important for larger companies.
  • Label makers. Many offices have equipment logs, where every table, chair, computer and mouse are accounted for. This, in turn, requires a lot of labels. To make things easier, office owners invest in label makers that allow you to produce multiple labels in a short time. The labels can also be used to differentiate people’s things, mark various cables or attach important notes.
office supplies
  • Laminating machines. This piece of office equipment is not all that popular, but it is very useful nonetheless. Laminators can preserve important documents, create durable business cards, make ID badges and do other cool things. However, small offices rarely have a need for them.

And that is it for our article about office equipment. Of course, these are not all the things you can find in an office. We have not even started on office furniture or kitchen equipment. However, if we included that, the article would have been even longer :) Nevertheless, we have tried to touch on the most important things that can be found in almost every office. We hope you have enjoyed this article. Have a nice day!

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Source: Naija.ng

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