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Equipment & Skills Used in Offices

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Working in an office requires you to have a specific skill set and be able to use certain types of equipment that are common to many offices. If you are not familiar with a piece of equipment, you will need to learn. The equipment used and skills that are needed may vary slightly from office to office, but overall are quire similar.

Paper-Related Equipment

Some of the pieces of office equipment are necessary for the paper aspects of the business. Photocopy machines are used to make copies of documents to distribute or to make documents lighter or darker. Printers are also used to print documents and emails that may be needed for documentation. Many office also use shredders to dispose of sensitive documents that are no longer needed. Fax machines can still be found in offices, but are not as common. Some photocopiers have faxing capabilities.


Today, many offices use computers to do business. Employees use email for communication between co-workers and clients. Documents are created using word processing software and spreadsheets organized on the computer. Some offices also utilize document scanners to scan any paper documents into an electronic format. These scanners are attached to a computer and transfer the paper documents into computer files, which are then filed into the computer by an operator. Employees in an office also sometimes use their computers for data entry, depending on the type of office.

Communication Skills

To be successful in the office environment, an employee must be able to communicate well. The type of communication will vary based on the job description. Some employees will need to be able to write well and communicate through email or possibly even regular mail. Oral communication may also be important. Some office employees regularly answer phone calls and speak to clients for the company. Even those employees who do not communicate with outside clients, good communication between their co-workers and bosses are very important. Depending on the job, negotiations may even be necessary.


Even those employees that are not in management positions will need to be able to manage themselves in their job. An employee must be able to look at their work load and determine which tasks are more important to get done first and which ones can wait. He must also be able to manage his time throughout the day and use it to complete as many tasks as possible. Certain phone calls must be made at a specific time, while regular daily tasks may be able to wait a little while.

Problem Solving

Not all aspects of an office job are cut and dried. An employee will need to use problem-solving skills to help figure out the best way to complete tasks and what can be done to fix any issues that may arise. Employees must be able to work together and use brainstorming techniques to be able to solve problems and complete projects. An employee would benefit from using creativity to come up with solutions and implement them into her projects.

Computer Skills

Many offices prefer to hire employees who have experience with specific types of software that the company uses such as financial software. If someone is hired who does not have these skills, additional training will be required so he can do his job well. Some offices will also require a potential employee to take a typing test. The faster a person can type accurately, the more efficient the employee will be. The ability to learn quickly and solve simple computer issues is also an important skill for employees to have.


Kimberly Turtenwald began writing professionally in 2000. She has written content for various websites, including Lights 2 You, Online Consultation, Corpus Personal Injury and more. Turtenwald studied editing and publishing at Wisconsin Lutheran College.

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