Space in the workplace is important. But even as working restrictions begin to lift, maintaining a Covid19-safe working environment remains a priority, placing your office space at a premium. So, how can it be maximised? Off-site Document Storage is an effective solution, but there are some others worth considering in tandem.
For every business, the cost per square metre of their office can be considerable. But, what compounds this issue is the added requirement to ensure an office is safe for returning staff and is kept Covid19 contamination-free.
Office layouts need to adapt, with greater space created and better spatial management. But at the same time, business must go on. Filing cabinets are an obvious candidate to remove since they occupy space. And yet, documents must be safely stored both to maintain accurate records and adhere to document retention legislation.
And with the emergence of the new Hybrid Remote Working Model, which embraces a home-office workplace balance, the amount of physical space needed for business to continue can be recalculated.
The good news is that, with some creative thinking, you can optimise your office space without compromising efficiency – off-site document storage being one of them.
Returning To Work Protocol
There are already clear advantages to choosing off-site document storage services, including greater document security, better GDPR compliance and boosted efficiency in workplace operations. But in the post-Covid19 workplace, the need for sufficient safe space to be provided between colleagues is set to be retained.
In Ireland, the Government has published an updated Return To Work Safely Protocol, taking into account the lifting of work restrictions and the return of tens of thousands of people to the office.
The first stage got underway on 20 September, allowing businesses to begin a phased and staggered return to the workplace for specific business requirements. But the return must take into account some key considerations, not least the most appropriate attendance figures to preserve physical distancing.
The next step will be taken on 22 October, when the requirement to work from home will be removed, allowing a full return to the workplace, albeit on a ‘phased and cautious’ basis. The workplace measures will also be wound down, but with caution still an overriding issue, adequate space will remain a necessary provision.
Optimise Space In A COVID-Safe Office
By moving documents and files off-site, a surprisingly large amount of space can be freed up. In fact, when you consider one four-drawer filing cabinet occupies 17 square feet, removing multiple cabinets can make a real difference. And remember, professional off-site document storage services are safer, efficient and simple to retrieve from too.
Social distancing remains a key concern, as does the other protective restrictions for any shared area. It’s important not to let our guard down. So, continue to provide hand sanitizers, insist on desks being cleaned before and after the employee works, and keep the perplex divisions. But consider too separating the work desks, so instead of a single workstation ‘hub’, individuals work with ample physical space between them.
Another way to maximize space is to make set areas available for more than one purpose. This means when staff are not present, perhaps because they are working from home, that space can be used for some other task. This solution can compliment the new Hybrid Remote Working Model mentioned earlier.
One way to multipurpose office space is to introduce a ‘hot desk’ policy. Allow staff to take a desk that is not being used by anyone else. In essence, no-one would have an actual desk, but would take the available space. This may seem dangerous in relation to COVID19, but the sanitizing rules would still apply and staffing numbers would still be kept at an adequate number.
In a small office, dividing the available office space into zones can help organize work and employees at the same time. Consider a group work zone and an individual work zone, and create a clear distinction for the two types of work being performed in the office.
In the group zone, use longer tables to accommodate groups that need to collaborate on projects, but with ample space between members.
Individual zones can accommodate employees who only need a small amount of desk space for their laptops on.
If you would like to talk to a member of the Kefron team and learn more about our Document Storage and Records Management Solutions click here.