Where did I put that sheet of paper? Where are the spare staples kept? Where can I leave my laptop so it’s safe over the weekend?
These are the sorts of questions that come into our minds day in and day out in office workplaces. Their recurrence highlights just how important office storage is for working efficiently in these environments.
Having an organised workspace is critical to being able to find what you need, when you need it. If you are working in an office space and storage is overflowing - it’s simply just going to be a lot harder to find that document, locate that USB drive, or sift through a client’s files. This can lead to disorganisation in your own personal workspace, which will in turn impact your productivity.
In fact, the electronics company Brother surveyed 800 office workers in 2010 and found that, on average, a single employee wastes around 38 hours per year looking for lost or misplaced items in the office. That works out at almost a full working week!
So, is that enough reason to get your workspace organised?
In this article, we will provide some examples of office storage solutions, and we will unpack some of the ways in which the relationship between workspace and storage is critical for productivity and even wellbeing.
Storage in Private Office Spaces
If you are leasing a private office space, you have the opportunity to really customise your storage facilities. But with this opportunity comes the pressure of configuring your office space in a way that works.
The first thing to take into account is that you will need at least two levels of storage: employees need to be able to store a certain amount themselves, but some things will also need to be stored for the office as a whole.
At a basic level, employees need personal filing cabinets. Also, the office as a whole needs shelves and filing cabinets to store things such as client folders, stationary, reference documents, and standardised forms. To optimise this setup, it’s essential that one or a handful of people (usually dedicated office managers) are responsible for monitoring what goes in and out of this communal storage space.
In reality, though, this simple division between personal and office-wide storage is not flexible enough. Businesses often require communal storage spaces that are just for specific working groups or departments. But this is the storage level at which most organisations fail.
For example, a team of five may be responsible for a particular client, meaning that each individual needs access to a corresponding set of files. However, what often happens is that, when one particular document is needed, a game of ‘who had it last’ begins.
To avoid this, it’s important to have satellite storage facilities for communal access. This may be a set of filing cabinets located within or near a grouping of desks. Or it might be a set of shelves located in the office of one of the members of the working group.
To make this work, a pretty ironclad policy of ‘put it back where you found it’ needs to be upheld.
Storage in Coworking Spaces
Shared offices run a little bit differently to private offices, but storage should still be run on the same principles. In a shared office space, where different people are working on entirely different enterprises, it’s even more critical that materials are stored in an organised fashion. More than just having different storage options, there needs to be a clear understanding of whose responsibility it is to store which materials.
Your coworking space should come with the necessary facilities to store documents and equipment for your whole team. This should include filing cabinets for individual team members, but also larger cabinets for materials needed by more people. If you are looking for a coworking space with storage solutions for your team, we can tailor a space just for your needs.
Hot Desking Storage
A common worry that people have with hot-desking is that they will have to bring all of their work materials in each day and take them home again because they don’t have a designated workspace in which to store them. But this is a misconception for most hot-desking workspaces.
For example, at our Melbourne office space in Collins Street, you will have access to a hot-desking storage box. This will be your own lockable storage space, which you can use to store things like documents and laptops while you are not at work.
Leaving Work at Work
One point about office space storage that often doesn’t get a mention is just how important it is for employee wellbeing. On the one hand, there is strong evidence to suggest that having a clear and organised workspace will reduce anxiety.
But on another level, having effective storage facilities means that employees can feel good about leaving their work materials and equipment behind when they go home each day, allowing them to truly leave their work at work.
So, to make sure your team is hitting productivity goals and staying healthy at the same time, give some thought to office storage!