It’s good to be the boss. But while it’s nice to be in charge, being the head honcho also comes with a unique and demanding set of responsibilities. Your duties are never-ending, and your decisions have consequences that trickle down to every employee, and your bottom line. Everything from scheduling to payroll, employee and/or client conflicts, marketing, hiring and more fall under your umbrella, and that’s just the beginning. That’s why you need office tools at your disposal; every day gadgets and items that can make the office a place of ease and functionality so you can focus on the very real responsibilities of your job.
Below we’ve outlined a few great tools for the office that will make your life easier so you can be the best boss you can be.
It seems like it’d be a simple enough thing: scheduling the work times of your employees. However, the boss, or anyone in management or HR can tell you – scheduling can be a nightmare. Coordinating various employees’ time off, vacations, hours available, etc, along with peak times, overtime…it’s a lot to keep up with, to say nothing of the actual schedule. It needs to be legible, easy to decipher and must make sense for the average employee. It also must be easily adaptable, as changes can be made at any time. Many business owners are making the switch from regular old, manual handwritten manual schedules or old-fashioned punchy time clocks, to online scheduling software/apps. There are so many to choose from, too – in fact, a comprehensive list of The 16 Best Free Work Schedule Maker Tools in 2020 is right here! These apps and software can be customized to the specific needs and preferences of your office and they can be as elaborate or as simple as you wish, so they’re a great idea for any busy boss.
Sticky Notes, Stationary, Paper Products
It seems this one would be obvious, but so many offices are actually lacking when it comes to necessary note-taking tools! We rely so heavily on computers, phones and other devices these days that we neglect to realize that we will need to scribble things down from time to time. An alert on your phone is one thing, but a post-it on the side of your desk will make sure you never forget that task you’ve been putting off. Sometimes visual cues are necessary, and having a wide variety and quantity of things like sticky notes or stationary for drafting letters can make your employees feel taken care of and prepared for any scenario.
Maintenance and Care
If you have a large business, you probably employ a janitor, but what about those times when the office just needs a small spruce up? Your employees will feel so much more productive if they are comfortable, and that means a space that is open, fresh and devoid of clutter. Investing in small items to facilitate this, relegated to a closet or space in the breakroom, are easy and affordable. A dustbuster/tiny vaccum, air fresheners, magic erasers, gentle-smelling cleaners…even candles in the bathroom. All of these things can help keep the office space clean and fresh; an atmosphere conducive to comfort, which leads to productive, happy workers.
Water Coolers/Coffee Makers
Since we’re talking about atmosphere…do you provide your workers with refreshments? I’m not talking about the office fridge and that twelve pack of soda that’s been in there since the Christmas party. Having a water-cooler that is changed regularly, as well as a kettle for tea, a small Keurig or even a proper coffee machine if you have a budget for coffee drinkers, will increase productivity exponentially. It’s just another way to let your team know that you’re thinking of their needs while they work hard for you. It’s also a perk for clients, too!
When was the last time you invested in a good filing system, or even color-coded tabs for various folders? A label-maker or label-making software? Binders or folders for important documents?
Items like this are often overlooked in the age of Powerpoint and Adobe, but having them around for important presentations and accurate filing is key. Office products are super affordable today and come in a wide variety of styles and colors, so there’s no excuse not to stock up on a few essentials for the supply closet.
Again, it would seem like a no-brainer, but this is something that so many office employees complain about. Not only should you provide your team with several options for writing/note-taking, but spend the little bit extra to invest in good pens that are comfortable to use, smear-resistant and smooth. No cheap, drying-out pens in your office! Get your team the good stuff. The same goes for other writing apparatuses: highlighters, pencils, sharpies, dry-erase markers – spend the few extra cents to get the best; it’ll be worth it.
Accessories for Accessibility
We might think of office jobs as cushy and comfortable, but that isn’t really the case. Just because a person sits down for the largest portion of the day doesn’t mean they’re loafing. In fact, many office settings can be downright uncomfortable or even dangerous, especially for someone with a disability or health issue. Make sure your office is comfortable and accommodating for your employees by providing them with wrist guards, laptop stands, cushions for their chairs, props for their feet, headsets, and other helpful aids. Even better: ask your employees what they need to be comfortable.
Further to that, you should be providing your employees with aids for health, should they need them. Make sure the bathroom is stocked with a first-aid kid, ibuprofen, sanitary wipes, antibacterial soap, feminine products, band-aids and other safety and health items. Safety and health should always come first!
These are just a few of the many ideas for how to organize and refresh your office so you and your team can work better and more productively.
*This is a collaborative post