The coronavirus pandemic has presented us all with unprecedented challenges over recent months and although statistics are currently guiding the easing of lockdown rules, a number of challenges remain. Social distancing is still a requirement throughout the UK, with Wales retaining the 2m guideline. Many of us are also adopting the use of PPE in both professional and personal capacities. Masks are commonplace in supermarkets, public transport and various workplaces. Many customer facing services have also introduced Perspex screens where social distancing is difficult to achieve.
These changes from the ‘norm’ have seen many businesses adapt to protect their workforce and their customers. With emphasis being on the importance of social distancing, at this stage, there is a focus on adapting existing workspaces to accommodate 2m spacing between individuals.
Now, more than ever, businesses are trying to be more efficient in their use of space. With that in mind, we’ve put together 5 Top Tips on how you could save space in your workplace.
1. Rota your staff
One of the many ways several businesses have adapted to the pandemic has been to adopt working from home. However, there are many other businesses that need to operate from an office. In these instances, having everyone on site, all of the time, may not be a viable option and so where flexibility is possible, a mix of working from home and rotas for on-site working may be a solution. By introducing a rotating schedule of who is on site each day and with efficient time management on your team’s part, you may be able to achieve the successful completion of the tasks that require on-site staff, complimented by any and all work that can be done remotely.
2. Switch out your desk
In most offices, the bulkiest items are the desks – and that makes sense, because they are your team’s workstations. But, are they fully utilised all of the time? If, like some, it’s commonplace to see unused space on your desk then perhaps a smaller workstation would be beneficial to you. Alternatively, you may find your desk is filled with anything and everything, from files to stationary that needn’t be there; in which case, could the items on your desk be kept elsewhere and, again, negate the need for such a large workstation? A smaller workstation or even introducing a standing desk to your workspace may free up vital floorspace that allows your team to safely work in the same vicinity.
However, although smaller workstations may be a logical solution, we appreciate that buying new office furniture may not be a realistic option at this time for many businesses, and so perhaps our other suggestions may help.
3. Rearrange the layout
It sounds obvious… and it is. Changing the layout of your workspace might be a great way of unlocking a more useful space-saving arrangement. Rather than have your desks clustered together (which may well have previously been beneficial) spreading workstations out can help ensure social distancing while working, as well as creating space for your team to move around each other when they’re not at their desks. What may be less obvious with this suggestion, is what you might discover you don’t need. While moving your office furniture around, you may find that the contents of one storage cupboard could easily be merged with another, thus reducing the need for one more bulky and space consuming storage unit. There may also be scope for being creative. For example, you may decide you don’t need a coat stand in the office if you were to attach hooks to the back of a door, or inside a storage cupboard.
If you decide to rearrange your office, you may discover that you no longer need certain items in your workspace, but you don’t necessarily need to fully rearrange your furniture to declutter. Your current layout may be optimal for utilising space, but there may still be scope to reduce the contents of your office. Going through drawers, storage units and cupboards, scouring desks, communal spots and even floorspace, you may discover a whole host of items that can be discarded. Other than the odd bit of broken stationary or outdated desk calendars, typically, most offices are cluttered with documents. For old notepads, outdated letterheads or duplicate prints of a blog post, putting them straight into the recycling bin could be all you need, but if what’s printed/written on the documents is considered confidential or contains personal data such as a direct email address, you may need to have them shredded to ensure GDPR compliance. Opting to destroy your documents with a secure shredding provider comes with an assurance that your company is protected from data breach. Service providers such as Maltings Secure Shredding will also present you with a full audit trail, including a certificate of destruction, for your records.
5. Store Documents Off Site
Not all documents you find will be eligible for destruction. Certain documentation, such as account records, must be kept for a certain number of years, by law, before they can be destroyed. Alternatively, there may be files that you still have an occasional need for but perhaps don’t necessarily need kept on-site. If this is the case, storing your files off site at a dedicated storage facility could be the best solution for your business. Storing your documents at a dedicated and secure facility will once again come with assurance that GDPR compliance is being adhered to and that you are protected from data breach. The Maltings Document Storage Solutions is a storage service provider that places security, compliance and trust as its core values. MDSS offer a collection and delivery service and a scan on demand service for whenever customers need their documents and, while social distancing is still required, the team operate a low risk, contactless service, with all personnel utilising PPE to enter clients’ premises.
Storing documents off-site can be a very effective method of freeing up space in your office. Just twenty archive boxes stored with MDSS can free up enough space for an extra desk, meaning far more room to utilise when trying to maintain social distancing.
Our 5 top tips are methods that have already been adopted by several businesses, allowing them to successfully maintain social distancing in the workplace. Not all of our suggestions will be applicable to every business and some of our suggestions may not necessarily be long-term solutions, however, during these unprecedented times, adaptations are required and the changes your business adopts now, may help form a more effective set up and more efficient procedures for you to carry forward as your business develops.
For more information on how our storage and shredding services could help your business during this time, speak to a member of our team today.
Call: 029 2079 3434