Have You Seen My Stapler? The Rules of Office Supplies

rules of office suppliesAs an employee, you need specific tools to get your daily work done. Pens, highlighters, notepads, staplers, folders, and the list goes on and on. Maybe your company provides you with these supplies. Maybe your company doesn’t. Either way, here are a few tips to keep in mind about workplace office supplies that will help you keep the peace at work, maintain good relationships with your co-workers, and avoid asking the question, “Um, excuse me … have you seen my stapler?”

If you have to borrow something, ask first. Maybe you really can’t find your stapler and you do need to borrow one for a major stapling project. Before you grab the first one you see, be sure to ask if you can borrow it. It’s important to be respectful of your co-workers’ desk space – it’s their territory. Keep in mind how you would feel if you went to grab your tape dispenser only to discover that your co-worker borrowed it a few days ago. To avoid workplace drama, it’s always better to ask to borrow something, especially if it’s for an extended period of time.

Return what you borrow. The rule of thumb to remember is that if you borrow something from one of your co-workers, be sure to return it back to them in a timely manner AND in the same condition it was in before you borrowed it. Be respectful of others’ property.

Don’t take office supplies home. If your company keeps you stocked with office supplies, that doesn’t mean you can take some home for your personal use. It’s easy to drop a pen in your purse or put one in a pocket and walk out of the office with it. But, after time, those little things start to add up and can start costing your company big bucks. Make it a point to keep your office supplies at the office and purchase your own personal office supplies to use at home.

Learn the policy for re-ordering. So, what do you do when there are no more tissues or you can’t find a highlighter in your entire workplace? Is there someone in your office who’s in charge of buying more office supplies for the whole team? Or is it an every man for himself mentality? Be sure you know what to do so that when you run out of sticky notes you don’t get stuck empty handed.

Label items you bought. If your work doesn’t pay for your office supplies, label the items you buy. Put your initials in marker on the bottom of each item, that way if something does get lost, others will know that it belongs to you. This will help prevent debates about who owns what.

Office supplies seem like such a minor part of the workday, but employees can be a little particular when it comes to these tools. Keep these tips in mind to help ensure your workday runs smoothly.


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