The Changing Definition Of “Office Supplies”

The Changing Definition Of “Office Supplies”

office suppliesThe relatively sudden jump in technological advancement the world has seen over the past few decades has affected almost every aspect of our lives, and this includes what constitutes the modern office and office supplies in general.

In the 80’s and prior to that, the “office” was simply a physical location where business owners, operators, and employees met to conduct business. 

Office supplies in this regard were everything you’d expect—physical office supplies like shelving, printers, paper, desks, janitorial supplies, and whatever else would be required to conduct the business of the day and keep monetary records.

Today, things are very different.

The Thin Line Between “Digital” & “Virtual”

office suppliesWith many businesses providing services that don’t require actual person-to-person meetings, digital technology has been incorporated to make the office something less physical and more virtual.

Consider the various task management systems that digital marketers, accounting firms, and related tech industries use to keep track of their tasks, allocate hours, and help technicians collaborate on projects.

Payment methods are also mainly done electronically now, but it doesn't end there.

Management and staff can have meetings over their computers on Google Meet, Zoom, and other videotelephony proprietary software. VOIP technology has also played a major role in the transformation of modern businesses into what they are today.

During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses had their eyes opened to just how easy it really is to run a successful business remotely—that is to say, from home or anywhere else not physically located in the “business’s building”.

In short, the “office” has become something more abstract—rather than a physical location where management and employees conduct their business, it’s more of a digital matrix of technology and applications that tie people together in a single business, many of them being located in other states and even other countries!

That said, all of this digital technology falls in the category of “office supplies” and business owners need to remember that when it comes to tax write-offs and business expenses.

Other “Office Supplies” That Break From Tradition

office suppliesThere are many other office supplies that modern offices use that break from tradition, and their use ranges from purely aesthetic to invaluable for business operations.

Smart lighting—or, personalized lighting systems—are great for creating the right office atmosphere. Smart office design technology can control heat, lighting, air conditioning, air circulation, and security, all controlled right from your computer or smartphone.

There are also plenty of apps and software that have increased productivity in the office, both physical and digital, over the last decade. The cloud is a major contributor to this, as are collaboration suites and management software systems. 

Traditional Office Supplies Are Still Just As Necessary As Ever

Yes, we’re moving towards a more digital age with each passing year, but the need for traditional office supplies, including printer supplies, POS paper rolls, janitorial supplies, and everything else are still needed to keep a business up and running smoothly.

For all of these invaluable forms of office supplies, Richmond Advantage has you covered.

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