Although for many, the paperless office is the dream, it cannot always become a reality. Sometimes, businesses must keep a large number of dossiers, folders and files by law, often for many years. So, how can you keep everything safe and sound without compromising on the aesthetic appeal of your workplace? Here are some thoughts.
They say that a tidy desk equals a tidy mind. Or something like that., It’s true that an organised space with everything you need to be sorted neatly, within easy reach will make working life run far more smoothly. So it’s important to choose a desk that not only has enough space for the PC, keyboard and other IT equipment but also has plenty of room to write notes AND keep pens, papers and folders organised. Look for desks with drawer units underneath, or with added shelving attachments to maximise storage. Take the time each evening before you go home to tidy your desk, ready for optimum productivity the following day.
Different types of business will have different storage requirements, with some needing to keep client, legal or finance-related paperwork on file and others more able to chase the paperless office cream. Think carefully about what your office needs before investing too heavily in the filing, and don‘t forget to plan ahead too and buy in extra storage if you think you are going to need it in the not-too-distant future. Filing solutions come in all shapes and sizes, from compact cabinets to wall-to-wall shelving and lockable archive rooms. Take your time to create the perfect filing solution for your own organisation’s needs.
Taking it personally
Wherever you find employees, you will find their personal effects, from coats and hats to laptop carriers and handbags. Help people feel at home at the office by providing adequate storage for their personal items. Hat-stands and hooks are useful, but how about adding in cloakrooms, wet weather storage for umbrellas and rain hoods or lockable cupboards for tablets, phone and other personal valuables? Show your workforce that you care about them and their belongings and they will return the favour by showing effort and loyalty at work.
Look up, look down, look around
When it comes to adding storage in a smaller space, or one that has restrictions such as building regulations or health and safety protocols, it’s time to literally think ‘outside the box’. In other words, don’t limit planning to floor cabinets and desk drawers. Can you add hooks that are suspended from the ceiling, or install shelves in alcoves, attics or basements? A clever commercial interior designer will be able to spot storage potential in almost any type or size of unused office space and use it to the max.
Keep a lid on it
Although there are almost limitless options for storage out there, don’t let the choice go to your head. Try to contain the number of items you need to store. Scan electronic copies of files to your PC or upload PDFs of key policies, handbooks etc. to the organisation’s intranet. Encourage employees to reduce the number of documents they print out and stay on top of the stationery orders to keep the number of pens, envelopes and other bits and pieces needing to be stored to a minimum. Thanks to online shopping advances, most stationery that staff need on a day-to-day basis can be ordered and delivered within hours.