Written by: Kevin Gardner
Right now, offices everywhere are being reinvented and reborn. More people than ever are working from home, a trend that began long before the recent health crisis. Working from home has a great deal of advantages that companies are now beginning to take notice of, such as higher morale and greater flexibility. Conventional offices are slowly experiencing a resurgence too as businesses get back on their feet. When building a new office space, there are several standard items that need to be present to ensure maximum capability with a minimum of wasted money and time. Here are a few suggestions for engineering that new space.
This may not be the first thing that comes to mind when checking the boxes on a list of office gear ... until something valuable gets stolen. An excellent option for either a home or public office are office safes. Although a lot of important documents can be stored digitally, many cannot. Office safes come in a bewildering variety of sizes and capabilities, however the best not only a high-quality locking mechanism, but also a high tensile strength that not only protects valuable against theft but also physical damage from accidents.
The importance of adequate seating in an office should never be underestimated. A less-than-optimal workspace setup can actually cause physical harm, with issues for workers ranging from back and neck pain to a loss of production due to employees taking more breaks than they otherwise would. Long-term effects can even include chronic issues like carpal tunnel syndrome. An ergonomic chair can be rather costly, but the costs saved in lost productivity from a miserable workforce will be well worth it.
Over the past few decades, a massive shift has taken place from physical work areas to the online world. The inbox is rarely an actual box anymore and the overwhelming majority of official communication is done through email and even text messaging. In some cases, a person actually can run an entire business from a smartphone, but for most industries this remains a bit too ambitious. A standard desktop with high speed Internet capability is of course a must-have, but so are the right accessories. Surge protectors, for example, can save a business a great deal of money and aggravation caused by lightning storms or electrical malfunctions shorting out vital equipment. Thumb drives are an excellent way to store files that might be confidential or just easier to send to their destination physically.
As useful as computers are, there's a tendency these days to place too much emphasis on digital devices and in doing so forget the physical necessities of office work. A large supply of pencils, pens and computer paper are the most obvious of these needs. Arguably just as important are the tools of physical organization. High-quality binders and folders are essentials, as are filing cabinets and boxes. It's worth remembering that the things of office life back in the 1980s are still crucial in our contemporary high-tech workplaces.
Thus far, this rundown has been focusing on the things that an office does need. Not having the right tools for the job can be a problem, but so can having too much of the things that aren't necessary at all. It's true that some studies have shown a correlation between messy desks and creativity, but too much disorganization can have a detrimental effect on a person's mental state. The physical environment at work has a major impact on a worker's efficiency and effectiveness, not to mention their health. Focusing on needs rather than wants, and purchasing desks featuring multiple unobtrusive compartments are especially effective clutter-reducing techniques.
Whether the objective is building a new office at home or in a traditional building, keeping an eye to the essentials is vital to a safe and productive work environment. The task of building or retooling an office can seem daunting, but with few simple considerations, the office can be not only a place of production, but peace of mind too.