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5 Compact Storage Ideas for Socially Distanced Offices

4th February 2021

Big ideas for small spaces

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Space in offices is at a premium right now due to the distancing requirements imposed by the coronavirus, while the usage of common areas and equipment has also been limited. This presents a storage issue for many businesses, who now have less space to store things in, and more of a burden to keep storage near the employees who need it. 

Thankfully, there are a range of options to bring efficient storage to your employees, and reinvent the way you keep and retrieve records. Here are five examples of storage devices that you can use to save space in your workplace, and help to deal with the burden of storage and retrieval during the coronavirus pandemic. 


Compact storage

Office storage is often thought of as something that exists communally (such as shelves or filing cabinets), or something that sits on somebody’s desk. What’s less common is to find storage that is part of somebody’s workstation, and gives them immediate access to the documents and other items they need without having to go looking for them.

Compact storage is a way to work storage capacity into individual workstations, and is a godsend for hygiene control given the current state of the coronavirus pandemic. Compact storage units can either be built into a desk or designed to seamlessly slot in underneath them, utilising the wasted space under desks without impeding on the footwell.


Modular storage

If you don’t have the space for a standing storage system, or want to store a variety of different sized items, it might be worth considering a wall-mounted modular storage system. Useful for home offices as well as workplaces, these highly adaptable and widely available systems allow you to configure storage to the dynamics of your space. 

Modular storage systems allow different sizes of shelves to be bolted together and changed at your leisure. This might, for example, allow you to build shelves around obstacles in your space, such as existing wall fixtures or desks with a prominent backboard. The shelves can then wrap around these obstacles, maximising your storage space and minimising your storage footprint. 

Modular shelving is fairly use-specific, and does not offer the density of other systems, or the capacity to store heavy and bulky objects. If you’re looking for a way to store and display smaller objects such as stationary, books, documents and even the odd office plant, however, then this could be the choice for you. 


Rotary storage

One of the problems with traditional office storage systems is how bulky they can be, and how they jut out into spaces. Filing cabinets are one of the biggest offenders for this, requiring not just the space occupied by the unit, but also enough space to open the door – meaning less space for surrounding desks and other furniture. 

Rotary storage offers a neat solution to these problems, and an ideal replacement for a traditional filing cabinet. Rotary storage allows a shelving unit to pivot internally, with the back wall of the diving forming the ‘door’ at the front. When it is rotated 180 degrees on its axis, the shelves themselves are revealed, and can be easily accessed. 

This unique feature of rotary shelving allows it to be locked in the ‘backwards’ position, granting you secure storage without needing a door that opens outwards. As a result, the unit requires significantly less space to be functional – allowing you to put it in spaces where a traditional filing cabinet just wouldn’t fit. 


Mobile shelving

One of the frustrations for businesses rearranging due to the coronavirus is that it comes at a time of increasing administrative burdens. As well as the health & safety requirements businesses are now presented with, many also have to deal with the ongoing effects of GDPR regulations and Brexit, including rafts of paperwork and the stockpiling of goods and resources. 

As a result, dedicated storage spaces for documents and products are being stretched to capacity. An ideal way to solve this is the use of mobile shelving, replacing your traditional static shelving. Mobile shelving involves the use of floor-mounted rails on which several shelving units are mounted. Instead of having aisles between every shelving unit, the units are compacted together, and separated one aisle at a time. 

Mobile shelving is compacted together when not in use, with a single aisle being created by rolling the units apart using a hand crank or electric motor. Depending on the dynamics of your space, this can as much as double your storage capacity or halve your storage footprint – allowing you to expand your storage without expanding or changing your premises. 


Slide-a-side shelving 

Sometimes, your storage needs may expand beyond the bounds what your workspaces can cope with. If there simply isn’t room for storage in your offices or other spaces, all may not be lost, however. The use of slide-a-side shelving could be the answer, taking advantage of spaces you wouldn’t normally be able to use. 

Slide-a-side shelving operates in a similar way to mobile shelving, but in a different configuration. Instead of creating aisles between rows of shelves, slide-a-side shelving creates two layers of shelves against a wall. To access the back layer, you simply slide the shelves on the front layer across, revealing one of the back shelves at any given time. 

The shallow depth of slide-a-side shelving means it can be positioned in corridors and other tight spaces, unlike almost any other shelving format. Ideal for bookshelves or file and record storage, slide-a-side shelving can almost double your storage capacity, with only one fewer shelves on the front layer compared to the back. Access is also similarly easy, with the units rolling aside on near frictionless rails. 

With the current conditions making life tough for businesses, efficiency savings have never been more important. By investing in more economical storage options for your office space or other premises, you can start saving time and money straight away, and give yourself the flexibility to grow and flourish.

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