Office equipment or office machines are the machines or equipment used to carry out work in an organisation or establishment to make work easier and faster.


Advantages of office equipment/machine

  1. Workers cannot easily get tired.
  2. It promotes or ensure accuracy and quality work (i.e. accurate)
  3. It improves work appearance
  4. It saves time, energy and labour
  5. It makes the work interesting
  6. It helps to prevent fraud


Disadvantages of office equipment/machine

  1.    The equipment can wear out with time.
  2. The invention of new ones can make some office equipment or machine obsolete (i.e) out of fashion or use.
  3. Some of them are expensive to purchase
  4. The maintenance cost of some of them may be high
  5. Noisy machines like typewriter can distract the attention of workers.
  6. Some of them require experts to handle them. e.g. computers.
  7. Some of them are not reliable they can easily break down.
  8. The operating cost of most of them is expensive.


Factors to consider when choosing an office equipment

  1. The cost of buying the machine
  2. Availability of space to keep the machine
  3. The durability of the machine (i.e. how long the machine will last)
  4. The cost of maintaining the machine or the maintenance charge.
  5. The ability of the machine to do more than one work. Etc.


Types of office equipment/office machine

  1. Typewriter – kinds of typewriter
  2. Standard typewriter
  3. Portable typewriter
  4. Standard long carriage typewriter
  5. Electronic typewriter etc.


  1. Duplicating machine – it is divided into two
  2. Stencil duplicating
  3. Spirit duplicating machine


  1. Adding machine – it is divided into two
  2. Listing adding machine
  3. Non listing adding machine


  1. Calculating machine – which is divided into two
  2. Electronic desk calculator
  3. Printing calculator


  1. Filing cabinet
  2. Stapling machine/stapler
  3. Perforating machine
  4. Franking machine
  5. Computer
  6. Photocopying machine or photocopier or copier
  7. Dictating machine or dictator
  8. Addressing machine
  9. Fax machine
  10. Shredding machine
  11. Mail opener
  12. Country machine


Importance of office equipment

The following are the important of various office equipment.

  1. Office equipment facilitate and simplify the performance of various office jobs.
  2. It helps to improve the quality of various office jobs.
  3. Office equipment improve speed of performance of jobs.
  4. It makes various office jobs to be uniform and good in appearance
  5. Office equipment make various jobs to be accurate.


Uses of different office equipment

  1. Photocopier: This is also known as photocopying machine. It is used to produce exact copies of originals. It is also used when a document has been prepared and there is need for more copies.
  2. Typewriter: This is also known as typewriting machine. It is used for reproducing handwritten documents and letters (manuscripts). Typewritten jobs are very neat and clear in appearance.


There are two types of typewriters. These are

  1. Manual typewriter
  2. Electric typewriter

The electric typewriter uses electricity. The typist only needs to depress the keys slightly in order to operate the machine.

However, the manual typewriter is operated manually. The typewriter makes great demand on the physical energy of the typist.

  1. Duplicating machine: This is the office equipment used to produce several copies of a document from the stencil. The stencil is a specially coated sheet of paper that is used to type documents for reproduction on the duplicating machine.
  2. Calculating machine: This is also known as calculator. It is used in the office to perform all the four processes at arithmetic – addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. There are different types of calculators e,g. pockets or portable calculators, printing calculators, and standard calculators.
  3. Perforating machine: This is also known as punch of perforator. It is used in the office to make holes on documents, papers or letters for easy filling.
  4. Computer: This is an electronic device that can accept data and process it in order to give the required information. The computer system is very important in an office and in the business world.

Areas of application of computers include word processing, desktop publishing, payroll system, invoicing, data management and banking.

  1. Filing cabinet: This is used in the office for storing business documents. A cabinet can be wooden or metal depending on the choice of the organisation files are arranged in orderly manner in the cabinet as follows.
  2. Alphabetically: This is when the files are arranged in letter of the alphabet like words in dictionary.
  3. Numerically: This is when documents in a file or the files are arranged according to the number given to the documents.
  4. Chronologically: This is when documents in the files are arranged according to the data they are received.
  5. Geographically: This is when files are arranged according to the places they refer to (e.g. North, South, East and West) or come from.
  6. Subject filling: This is when file documents are arranged according to topics they deal with.
  7. Laminating Machine: This is the office to provide protective covering for documents like certificates and other important document to prevent tearing and other form of destruction
  8. Scanning machine: This is the office equipment used to capture images and document for computer display. This is also known as a scanner.
  9. Shredding machine: This is also called a shredder. It is used to destroy unwanted office documents. The machine cuts the documents into small pieces to make it impossible to read what was printed on them.
  10. Franking machine: This is the machine used to make printed marks or stamps on documents or envelopes to show that postage has been printed.

Franking machines are operated in Nigeria under licence by the general post office some franking machine have device to carry advertisements or slogans for their users.

  1. Dictating machine: This is an electronic device capable of recording dictations, instructions models of the dictating machine. E.g. tapes, disc, cassettes.
  2. Addressing machine: This is used in the office to reproduce information needed at regular interval. It varies in sizes and can be manually or electronically operated. It is used to produce names and address on invoices and in the ledger and letters.
  3. Telephone: This is an office equipment used for sending verbal messages or information from one office or person or organisation to another. The telephone is regarded as the fastest means of sending messages or information from place to place.
  4. Stapling machine: This is also known as the stapler. It makes use of staple pins fixed into the machine. It is used to join two or more documents or papers firmly together.
  5. Fax machine: This is the office equipment used for sending the exact copy of a typed or hand written documents from one office to another anywhere around the world.

It requires the sender to insert the document in the machines and dial the number of the recipient. It is receives immediately It is sent.

  1. Cyclostyling machine: This is the machine used for reproducing document using ink and stencil.
  2. Guillotine: This is a machine used to cut large sheets of paper.
  3. Counting machine: This is a piece of machine that counts money. It mostly used in the banking industry.
  4. Collating machine: This is an office equipment use to collect pieces of paper or the pages of a book and arrange them in the correct order.
  5. Printer: This is a machine which is connected to a computer to make printer copied of computer information.
  6. Telex machine: This is a cross between or type writer and a telephone. When it is switched on, it receives, acknowledges and prints out incoming messages automatically. It uses NIPOST facilities.


Care of office equipment

In order for office equipment to function effectively regular servicing is required. As a result, the following steps are taken.

  1. Office equipment should be covered when not in use to prevent dust.
  2. The movable parts of the office machine must be cleared with methylate’s spirit e.g. the typewriter.
  3. The employee assigned to a particular office equipment must undergo training on the usage and proper handling to prevent damage.
  4. The employee assigned t o operate office equipment should follow the user’s guide.
  5. Regular servicing and maintenance by experts are required.



  • Define office equipment
  • Give two advantages and disadvantages of office equipment
  • Explain three factors to be considered before choosing a type of office equipment
  • List 10 office equipment
  • What way can you care for office equipment?


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