Although its significance often ends up overlooked, office equipment is one of the most valuable assets a business can own. The modern business environment is defined by speed and fierce competitiveness. Taking poor care of these assets can not only cause unnecessary costs but also impede the company’s ability to perform on the optimal level and eventually threaten its market position.
Don’t allow such a small oversight to bring the gears of your company to a halt. Here, we will take a look at some of the ways to protect and preserve your office equipment.
Work on the layout
As menial as this issue may sound, a poor layout of electrical devices can cause a lot of unnecessary malfunctions. So, as soon as you get the first opportunity, be sure to deploy the equipment in the following way:
- The electrical outlets should not be overloaded with too many devices
- The cables should not be tangled and overlapping
- The devices should be allowed enough room to “breathe”
- The devices should be removed from heating elements
- Don’t overstretch the small cables and use the extension cords instead
Establish a regular cleaning schedule
Dust makes a very poor couple with electrical equipment – if it finds a way inside a device, it can cause overheating and breakdowns. Therefore, it would be best to remove it while it’s still easily accessible. In order to do so, you will first need to make sure your AC filters are clean and working. Second, buy air filters with a high MERV rating to prevent dust from even entering the room. Finally, introduce a tight cleaning schedule that will make sure all the workstations are sanitary and polished.
Establish food and beverage zones
The less food you bring near the equipment, the better. The best way to prevent these two from ever coming into contact is by creating a couple of hangout zones where your employees can have their snacks and drink their coffees. If you are more in favor of the open office concept, be sure to equip every work station with a reliable waterproof keyboard, and similar devices that can’t be as easily damaged by food and beverages.
Perform regular firmware and software updates
Most of the devices out there are released with a firmware that was never intended to be the final solution but rather a blueprint for later upgrades. If the devices are not regularly updated, the firmware or software they are running on may be so out of date that they are no longer capable to perform their basic duties, interact with other devices or connect to online services. That is why you have to make sure all the pieces of equipment are upgraded with the latest firmware released by their manufacturer.
Consolidate the equipment and move to online services
Having too much equipment lying around creates excessive clutter, and ramps up the upkeep costs. That is why you should look for ways to consolidate the equipment and rationalize consumption. For instance, you will achieve a much higher level of efficiency if you use a couple of centralized printing stations instead of equipping every workstation with a separate printer. If you manage to lower the paper consumption and move your documents into the cloud, you will achieve even better results.
Train your employees
Finally, your office equipment will be protected and efficient only as much as your employees are adept at using it. Fortunately, this problem can be easily solved with a couple of seminars and training sessions where the workers will get an opportunity to learn how to use their tools in a proper way and resolve common issues without help (e.g., the paper stuck in the printer). This small measure can go a long way in extending the lifespan of your tools.
We hope these few tips should help you get some general idea of the measures you can take to protect the equipment lying around your offices. The current business environment forgives very few mistakes. Don’t allow a stuck printer or a burnt router to be the monkey wrench that disrupts the seamless operations of your company.