Optimising Office (And Desk) Storage For A More Effective Work Space
Whether you’re running a rented office or you’re working from home from your kitchen table, optimising your space makes sense. Yet few of us do it. In the rush to start being productive, we put things in place ‘just for now’, and it ends up being permanent.
There is a better way. Spending a little time getting organised will boost motivation, increase productivity, and ultimately create a more profitable and enjoyable work space.
Take Stock of the Working Environment
The first part of this exercise involves noticing working practices and processes. If you’re forever walking across the room to retrieve a document or item of stationery, you’re wasting time. Rearrange the furniture so needed items are closer to hand.
Likewise, if you spend too long answering emails to colleagues who need access to records or database information, you’re doing a job they could do themselves. Give them cloud access to the database they need so they can get the information themselves.
Storage, both physical and digital, should work with you, not against you. If you can’t access what you need because things you don’t need are in the way, it’s time for a little reorganisation.
Effective Use of Space
In home offices: A dedicated work area is vital. Having a space where you ‘go to work’ breaks the psychological barrier between work and leisure, something that many home workers battle with.
You don’t need a separate room (although this is the ideal), but you do need to earmark a section of a room that’s your office. There are a few ways to do this:
Create room dividers with bookcases or furniture such as the sofa in living rooms. It’s not so much to create privacy as to put up a dividing line. In front of the sofa, you relax. Behind the sofa, you work.
Install wall shelves for documents, reference books, or stationery items. Keeping all those items together prevents unnecessary wandering when you need to check a fact or look up a record. It also promotes a professional atmosphere and attitude when all the tools of your trade are around you.
Make rules for other household members so that’s what is in your work space, stays there. Items must not be ‘borrowed’ without permission.
In rented offices: Create separate zones for different activities. Have all the stationery near the printer or photocopier. Install desks with drawers rather than tables or workstations, as these allow employees to keep often-used small items to hand.
Maximising Profits With Storage
Creating productive, pleasant workspaces often means reducing the number of furniture items by removing those that are not strictly needed.
At home, you could create an office room by removing bedroom furniture to make way for a desk, for instance.
In rented offices, making greater use of cloud storage for digital records would mean fewer filing cabinets. Removing banks of filing cabinets could make room for an additional desk, which you could rent out. The trend for rented desk spaces is growing, and works well for both businesses and small enterprise owners who need dedicated working spaces. For those renting out desks, incoming rental revenue helps to pay overhead expenses.
Practical Storage Solutions
As needs evolve and change, so do storage needs. If you’re moving out filing cabinets or items of home furnishings, you may not wish to permanently dispose of them. Self storage is one flexible solution, offering short term contracts on a wide range of storage-space sizes.
For online retailers, it’s also an ideal solution to the stock storage dilemma. When stock levels fluctuate, during seasonal demands for instance, you need to up- or down-size your storage needs at short notice. With self storage it’s easy to add on a small room or move completely into a larger or smaller unit.
If you decide to investigate this option, ask about additional services for business owners, such as photocopying, courier services, or having your deliveries accepted and stored during those times you can’t be there.
Optimising your office and desk storage takes a little effort, but the rewards in terms of efficiency and productivity not only create more harmonious offices, they can enhance profit margins too.
Drew writes for Big Yellow Self Storage.
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