The 21st century has revolutionised the concept of work and the office, transforming it from a static, physical and geographically bound concept, to a dynamic telecommuting and virtual setting. The office can no longer be thought of as brick-and-mortar alone; it is any space, physical or cyber, in which work is done. An office is defined as the physical or virtual space where people, machines, equipment and ideas come together to accomplish a specific purpose. Office equipment are a business' main assets and include all tangible and intangible components that allow them to maximise productivity.
Tables, chairs and desks are some of the most common types of office equipment. According to Norman N. Barish in the book "Systems Analysis for Effective Administration," standard desk types include double-pedestal executive desks, double-pedestal clerical desks, double-pedestal secretarial desk and single-pedestal typewriter desks. Tables are cheaper and take up less space than desks. They discourage hoarding and the accumulation of unnecessary materials, promoting efficiency and neatness. The best office chairs are those that reduce fatigue and promote proper posture. Executive-type swivel chairs, straight-back chairs and stenographic chairs are the most common types of chairs in an office setting. Office furniture is available in a range of colours, styles and sizes.
Electronic and Computerized Equipment
Electronic equipment form the backbone of the modern office environment and may replace, or closely assist, manual work. Computers, networking devices, dictating machines, bookkeeping and billing equipment, electronic typewriters and calculators, scanners, printers, fax machines, safety deposit boxes, personal-display assistances, transcription machines, cash-handling systems, voice recorders and paper shredders are among the most common office electronic equipment. Their function is to assist office workers with their daily operations and to greatly improve efficiency and reduce slack time. Specialised electronic equipment, such as electronic whiteboards, teleconferencing and web-conferencing equipment, 3-D presentation equipment, projectors, surveillance equipment, and others, are used in different types of offices. These, and other office tools, make office and work management easier and more efficient.
Software Tools and Packages
Most computerised office equipment comes with inbuilt or external software programs and packages that allow the hardware systems to work. Generic business software, such as Microsoft Office, is one the most common software packages installed on office computers. In addition to generic software programs, specialised software packages, such as medical software, dental software, accounting software, financial software and architectural software, are designed specifically to manage different types of information in various organisations.
- "Systems Analysis for Effective Administration;" Norman N. Barish; 2007
- "Office Equipment: Introducing Energy Saving Opportunities for Business;" Carbon Trust; 2005
- "Administrative Assistant's and Secretary's Handbook;" James Stroman, Kevin Wilson and Jennifer Wauson; 2008