Along with technology and office furniture, office supplies make up one of the main categories of items needed to completely establish an office environment. They could be characterized as the items used in, around, and with the furniture and technology in the work of the office, whether a home office with one employee or a multi-national company with a huge workforce. Unlike technology and office furniture, most office supplies are relatively inexpensive, but many are essential to the smooth running of a business. Of course, the specific needs of each office are tailored to the work done there. Nevertheless, some items are fairly universal.
Stationery is one element of office supplies. Office workers use writing paper, copying paper, printer paper, typewriter paper, letterhead, notepads, envelopes, forms, memos, and telephone message pads. Other items that are made of paper but are not strictly stationery are sticky notes, calendars, and planners. Writing utensils are an office supply that goes hand-in-hand with stationery. Pens, pencils, markers, and highlighters may all find a place. Don’t forget the correction fluid, correction tape, or eraser.
Desk and storage organizers are another category of office supplies. Manila folders, hanging files, and their accouterments, such as labels, are crucial to certain office organization systems, just as binders and sheet protectors are crucial to others. Index dividers to organize binders and hole-punches to prepare plain paper for binders are additions to the system.
Small tools that have a role in the office include staplers, scissors, letter openers, compasses, and protractors. Products that connect items such as tape, glue, binder clips, paper clips, pins, tacks, rubber bands, brass fasteners, clipboards, and Velcro®, are essential office supplies. These often reside in desk organizers or drawer organizers.
Presentations may be made with flip charts or easels, and notes and messages may find their way onto bulletin boards or dry erase boards. Other items that don’t fit so neatly in categories but are important office supplies include file cards and boxes to hold them, address books and devices, book racks, and CD and/or DVD storage racks.