A stockphoto/iStock/GettyImages

How to Use Office Equipment

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

So, you have secured a position working in an office, perhaps as an administrative assistant or secretary. Now you need to learn the proper way to use the equipment in your office, since your job will entail using computers, sending faxes, making photocopies and more. With proper handling, the equipment in your office should last several years and should actually make your job easier. The better you know how to use the equipment, the better you'll be able to do your job.

Using the Photocopier

Read the instruction manual provided for the photocopier. Locate the power switch and turn the machine on. Allow sufficient time for the machine to warm up; older machines can take more time than newer models.

Lift the cover and place the document you wish to copy face down on the glass. Take care to position it properly; most photocopiers have markings showing where to place documents. Lower the cover and, using the control panel, select the number of copies you wish to make. Push “start” and the copying should commence.

Use the automatic feed on your copier to copy documents several pages in length. Following the guide next to the feed, position your stack of documents; many photocopiers auto-feed documents face up. See if your photocopier has options for automatically collating and stapling your documents -- most newer models do. Select these options on the digital display, press "start," and your stack of documents will be photocopied, collated and stapled for you.

Using a fax machine

Read the manufacturer's instructions. Check that the fax machine is plugged into a power source and a phone jack before turning it on. Get the fax number for the destination of the fax you are sending. Arrange the documents you are sending in order.

Fill out a coversheet for your fax; this will contain the recipient's name and fax number, the name of your boss or office, the fax number for your office, a short message to the recipient and the number of pages, including the coversheet.

Position the documents face up in the feeder tray. Dial the recipient's fax number. Press "send' or "fax" to send the document, depending on the machine you are using.

Ensure that there's plenty of ink in your machine's toner cartridge and that there's plenty of paper, so you can receive a fax smoothly. Wait for the phone to ring, but do not answer it; this indicates a fax is coming in. Listen for the "handshake" tones that tell you the sender's fax machine and your fax machine are communicating. Watch your fax machine start printing and wait until the entire document has come through.

Check the number of pages you received against the number given on the cover sheet to be sure the whole fax has come through. Contact the sender to confirm receipt of this document.


Make sure to turn off all office equipment at the end of your work day, unless you are instructed otherwise.

About the Author

Elsa MacFie began writing in 1990 and her short story, "Making of an Atheist," was published in "Impressions" that same year. She co-founded "Meat for Tea: The Valley Review," a small arts and literary journal that began in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in English.