The Hidden Assets of Office Break Rooms and Storage Cupboards


Every office has an inventory of “hidden assets” – coffee pods and filters, tea bags, plastic or paper cups, facial tissues, snacks, etc. Those assets have become more prevalent over the last couple of decades, as companies strive to increase retention through various perks. Every employee loves a bonus from time to time, but keeping your staff happy daily is essential, too. It’s the little things – the complimentary snacks, the coffee bar, the soda – that make the difference and help employees feel as if they’re appreciated. Those perks also extend to the fully stocked office supply room, where such items as printer cartridges, pens, and notepads are never in short supply.

You never want to run out of these items, especially vital supplies like printer cartridges and toner. For the sake of your employees’ happiness, you certainly can’t run out of coffee. All of these are hidden assets are typically stored away in cabinets and cupboard, so it’s not always obvious that you’re running low on something until you’re out. Then a search begins – your employees spin their wheels trying to hunt down extra staples or Diet Coke. Ultimately, they have to head to the nearest office supply or grocery store to keep operations and morale running smoothly. A good asset tracking system can prevent these little surprises and help office managers keep critical supplies in stock at all times.

How Little Assets Affect Employee Health and Happiness

Can something as simple as popcorn or a basket of fresh fruit increase productivity? You’d be surprised. Providing some of the comforts of home not only sends the message that you appreciate your employees, but it also keeps them in the office. In today’s competitive market, whatever you can do to retain your employees makes good business sense. Training a replacement is a lot more expensive than keeping an employee. Snacks and drinks are a minimal price to pay for happy staff members, as is the knowledge that if they need a particular office supply to do their jobs, they know you’ll have it in stock. Such items are among the most common essentials you’ll find in successful companies’ break rooms.

The Great Culture of Going Above and Beyond for Your Breakroom

Taking the time to invest in extra comforts for employees, and ensuring that those comforts are always fully stocked, are excellent ways to create a caring and positive office culture – and your culture is everything. But remember: Once you’ve established an expectation for something, even it’s technically a “privilege” you extend to employees, it’s not a good idea to remove it without warning. Empty cupboards with zero notice can have a negative impact on employee trust in management.

How Hidden Assets can Cause Administrative Nightmares

Most of us take such essentials as printer ink and paper, staples, clips and pencils for granted – that is, until they’re not there. Some items seem to take a walk, are lost or simply run out.

Running out of the wrong thing at the wrong time can throw a serious wrench into the day’s work. Writing yourself a note to check your inventory occasionally isn’t a terribly reliable system. What you really need to stay on top of your assets before they run out is an asset tracking and management system.

Another area of potential concern is your company-issued assets, like smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Are your employees taking those items out of the office, and if so, are they supposed to? Your IT assets are likely to be your biggest investment, so keeping up with their whereabouts and condition is incredibly vital for your bottom line.

To manage all of these moving parts, thankfully, you don’t have to invest in a complicated asset tracking solution that requires extensive training. Today, you need little more than a smartphone or tablet to manage all of your hidden assets. 

Managing the Little Assets That Fall Through the Cracks

Along with a reliable asset tracking app, there are some other measures you might consider taking to help achieve those little assets that can fall through the cracks:

Instill a Culture of Responsibility. Encourage your employees can notify management when the office is running low on something.

Share Files Digitally. You’ll reduce the need for paper stationery.

Keep an Up to Date Inventory. The best asset tracking and management platforms will enable you to do just that – quickly and easily.

Position is Just as Important as Stock

Knowing where items are and keeping track of where they end up after use is just as important as keeping items in stock. Buying new supplies when your current ones were just put in the wrong place is wasteful, and searching for them eats up valuable time and productivity.

Find out what Asset Panda can do to help you manage and track your hidden assets – and keep your office running like a well-oiled machine.


Courtney Roush

Courtney Roush is a freelance writer, editor, and communications strategist with 25 years of experience. Her favorite discipline is crisis communications – and it’s a highly relevant one in our present times.

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