Outdated Stuff You Don’t Need In Your Office Anymore

Paper Shredder

Does your office feel cluttered and looks like the set of a movie from the 1980s? If you look under that box in the corner which hasn’t been moved for years, would you find a floppy disk or a sheet of carbon paper? If productivity in your office is not up to your expectations, maybe it has less to do with the amount of work your staff is putting in and more about the outdated equipment that they use. Recent research shows that modern offices are more efficient and productive than they were decades ago. This is due to the advances in technology which made repetitive work redundant and streamlined many of the processes and tasks that used to take up most of the employee’s time. So look around you and if you find any of these things in your office it’s time to upgrade.


Back in the day, a Rolodex was an executive’s most coveted possession. It had all their contacts there. The hard-earned business cards of the movers and shakers in the business world along with their different phone numbers (all landlines) along with their addresses and the best ways to reach them. The Rolodex was a mine of valuable information that employees made sure to carry with them as they moved jobs because they also contained the contact information of clients. If that sounds a lot similar to your phone contacts you can guess why Rolodexes stopped being a permanent fixture of every executive’s desk. They got replaced by smartphones. So copy all the names and phone numbers from your Rolodex into your smartphone and dump this old and cumbersome relic from a bygone era.

Airmail Envelopes

Yes, the good old days of snail mail, writing on paper, folding it and stuffing in an envelope and sent it through airmail. And those things were a lot faster than regular mail. The receiver could get them within 3 working days at most. That’s how fast document delivery was around the time the first Star Trek movie hit theatres. Nowadays airmail envelopes have a place in history museums mainly because they inspire wonder and puzzlement in the eyes of children who have no clue what they are. And instead of mailing something you can just fax it using a free online faxing service. Cheaper, faster, and more convenient.


CalculatorsSpeaking of relics, remember when a calculator was the cutting-edge of technology that you could bring to your office to help make your workers more productive? Well, times have changed and calculators are no longer needed around your office anymore. In fact, having a calculator on someone’s desk is bad for business since it gives the impression that time travel is real and by some miracle we’ve been transported to the second half of the last century when mallets were in fashion and color TVs were a big deal. Laptops, tablets, and smartphones all have an inbuilt calculator in them.

Water Coolers

When a worker needed a break from crunching the numbers with their trusty calculators or actually entering data in physical data sheets, they’d head to the water cooler. This was a place to hang out, exchange pleasantries, gossip, and engage in office politics. Want to know who Nancy is seeing, whether Sue was expecting and why Mark had that weird haircut? You’ll get all that by spending time with other co-workers at the water cooler. The water dispenser offers more than fresh water. As you can imagine, it also wasted time and encouraged negative behavior that impacted the workplace. Water comes in small bottles now that people can refill and spend more time at their desks doing real work.

Overhead Projectors

If the meeting room at your office still has one of those bizarre looking projectors you need to think of the optics. Not only are they bulky, unwieldy, and unreliable, they make the office look ancient. That presentation will not impress anyone let alone your clients and future partners.

Pen Tray Holders

There were times in the not-so-distant past when every office worker had a pen on their person. That’s how most office work was done back then. Manually and with a pen. The thing was so ubiquitous that it was a sign of good taste and high position within the company to have a pen tray holder. You put it on your desk in a prominent position to show your visitors you had class. But these days you don’t need to use a pen except when you want to sign something. And even signatures are becoming obsolete and many are digital. So your pen tray holder has no place on your desk. Make some room for your laptop.

Interoffice Envelope

Interoffice EnvelopeAnother reminder of how many trees we used to kill to make tons of paper so that the CEO could send a memo to all the staff. The manilla envelope had a string that you wrapped around a button to close it. It wasn’t the most secure way but it ensured that the envelope was reusable. Dump it in a trolley cart and someone pushed it to the last desk down the aisle to the intended recipient. Now you can email everyone with one click and information flows faster inside the company. So get rid of the squeaking trolley cart and send all the manilla envelopes for recycling. This is the paperless age and the trees can sigh in relief.

Dress Codes

You might work in a company that still enforces dress codes. That’s fine, but back in the day the dress code for guys was a tailored suit and the driver go-getters with fire in their guts would wear a three-piece suit regardless of the weather. For the ladies, a pantyhose was mandatory. Don’t ask why, but that’s how it used to be. Things have lightened up since those stuffy days so if your company dress code still sounds like something The Beatles would have rebelled against, it’s time to ditch it and keep up with the times.

Paper Shredders

Paper ShredderBesides paper, mail, and staplers, a top-notch office wouldn’t function without a paper shredder. Those machines took your most sensitive documents and turned them into confetti. It was considered a safe way to destroy evidence and keep business secrets from reaching the wrong hands. That was when the most common way to transmit information was on paper. But you don’t need that contraption anymore. Just keep your most sensitive company information in digital files and store them in a thumb drive. If you want to erase your tracks, delete your browser history.


Remember when Blackberrys were all the rage? Some people still use them but before Blackberrys came into existence and have their time in the limelight, there were Personal Digital Assistants or PDA for short. A PDA wasn’t just a sign of prestige but it meant you took your career seriously. You simply had to flash them around during your lunch break to show everyone what a cool person you were. Say what you like about smartphones or even Blackberrys at least they’re not black and white.


CubiclesLast but not least, cubicles. They were the sign of a well-organized office. You cut the space into chest-level walls and each worker went into one of those cubicles and disappeared. Not only did it make the office look like a sweatshop, but it also prevented communication and the free sharing of ideas. You don’t see those restricting walls anymore. But if your office has them, it’s time to redecorate and tear down the wall.

Office equipment has gone through an amazing change thanks to the advance in technology. You can have a much more productive workplace by ditching the old stuff and embracing the new technology.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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