Today, storage is not just about filing old or unused records in case there is a need for future reference.
Far from it.
With companies trimming down on physical office size as well as opting for more open and collaborative spaces, they are losing traditional areas to file information. Storage must now be incorporated into actual working areas and must be accessible on a daily basis.
Awkward and inadequate storage space can even lead to lowered productivity.
“The average cost of searching for just ONE misfiled document is $120”
Poor storage solutions not only have an impact on companies’ bottom-line, they affect employee moral as well.
“Inadequate storage and filing space ranks in the Top 10 office complaints by employees”
Yet even with these alarming statistics, storage is typically the most overlooked issue when companies consider new or renovated offices. A whitepaper titled Filing and Storage by KI is a must read for anyone planning new or renovated office workspaces. Below are just a few of the highlights garnered from the paper:
- Because proper planning is missed at the beginning stages, storage is the most frequently reconfigured workstation component
- Even though we are supposedly moving toward a paperless society, storage needs have only grown, not diminished
- Companies must determine information they need to store based on how often it is accessed from daily to periodically to rarely.
- 36 percent of worksurface space is is now occupied by computers, monitors and other electronic equipment, efficient storage making even more important.
- The ever growing concepts such as teaming, collaboration and virtual offices which promote shared spaces have created a shortage of traditional storage areas
Further, KI suggests four key areas that should be considered early in the design stages to ensure appropriate storage needs are not only met, but allow for room to grow.
1. Real Estate Costs
Although it varies by industry, the goal of most companies these days is to reduce the office space required per employee. This has been the result of many factors from the economy to reduce costs to the popularity of open spaces to increase teamwork.
- With offices getting smaller, there is less room for the typical 5-high lateral files
- With panels being lowered in most systems, storage cabinets are disappearing
2. Wasted Space
Traditional storage solutions must be reexamined to locate any potential gains.
- Something as seemingly small as 1.5” can produce 20% more space by using 10.5” drawers instead of the traditional 12.”
- It’s important to take an audit of exactly what is to be stored. The way that information is managed has changed dramatically. Everything is not on letter- or legal-sized paper. For instance, systems must accommodate other forms of media including CD’s and DVD’s among others.
Being able to “find” information is imperative.
- It is estimated that workers spend 15 – 30 percent of their work time “looking” for information.
- A typical organization of about 1,000 employees wastes $6 million to $12 million per year searching for nonexistent information, failing to find existing information or recreating information that can’t be found.
4. Environmental Issues
Green design has now become the single greatest force in the building industry.
- 92 percent of facilities managers surveyed say they are actively working to make their facilities more sustainable.
- Because a great deal of storage solutions are incorporated into the actual workspace within the actual furniture and walls, they must be aesthetically pleasing was well.
- Well done storage systems can actually help companies toward their LEED® Certification.
So, plan for storage in the beginning stages. You can choose to do it now, or be forced to do it later.
You can download the complete whitepaper from KI, as well as proposed solutions, here.