Managing a business office is not a small task and includes keeping an active inventory of everything from paper clips to server racks. This job is complex enough that some things can fall through the cracks, like how often you should update the non-consumables such as cleaning supplies, computer equipment and office furniture. The tools your office uses daily can even include the space itself and how it is laid out. Knowing how frequently to change these tools and the benefits of those changes can help you keep running at peak efficiency for longer.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Your office inventory list probably already tracks the turnaround for cleaning and maintenance supplies such as air filters, floor cleaners and garbage bags, but it is vital to keep track of your tools as well. Plastic recycling bins can break down and wear out, mop handles can break, and metal tools can rust. Investing in a new extension ladder or two when the others start to look beat up can save you from accidental injuries when the rickety old one finally breaks. Checking your cleaning and maintenance tools every quarter and upgrading or replacing them as needed will keep your office space cleaner, safer and better maintained for longer.
Supplies and Equipment
Office supplies, such as paperclips and file folders, are often considered consumables and tracked in your inventory lists as such; equipment like computers, copiers and faxes, however, are often tracked as maintenance instead of inventory. Changing out electronics is expensive in terms of money, time and labor, so, understandably, most companies will put off updating these items for as long as possible. Even if you do not change the hardware frequently, ensuring the software is updated regularly can make it more difficult for malicious actors to breach your systems. It is crucial to refer to and follow manufacturer recommendations for upgrades, maintenance schedules and repairs for your equipment.
Furniture and Layout
The physical space your office occupies can be one of the essential tools you have at your disposal. Keeping the layout and look of that space updated can positively impact employee engagement, customer relations and much more. To get a better idea of this impact, think about working in a tiny space with a vast, wobbly desk and a threadbare chair; then compare that to working in a space with plenty of room to get around your sturdy desk to your comfortable, new chair. An update to your office furniture, layout and design can improve your company’s organization, productivity and mood, making it well worth the investment. A new office every month would have the opposite effect, however, so changing this set of tools should be done when you outgrow the space, move to or open a new location, or during a break. For instance, if your landlord needs everyone out for a couple of days for fumigation, why not extend your break from the office to bring employees back to a fresh new space.
Updating your office for better safety and efficiency means keeping your digital tools and physical technology up-to-date and making sure your maintenance tools, office furniture and even floor layout are still functioning the way they should. This task means touching base with maintenance for tools like ladders and recycling bins and watching how your coworkers flow through the space doing essential tasks. When developing a schedule for changing your office’s daily tools, it is vital to consider how long that list is, which things are included and what manufacturer recommendations are. Once you find a weak spot, it is vital to address it before something breaks.