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How lockers are helping companies like yours to hotdesk, collaborate and save money
09 November 2017

Using Lockers and Hotdesks to save desk space and money

The disappearance of desks

The way we create our workspaces is turning away from traditional, static desk-based designs to more flexible and efficient ‘agile working’ models.

However, innovation is never easy and breaking down the concept of ownership and territory in the workspace is a tough ask. You might transfer the argument that while your bed is only used for a third of the day, you wouldn’t want to share it with strangers. But the office is different to the home, no matter how domestic new designs become, and collaborative spaces will help to ensure that less of your colleagues are strangers to you.

Personal offices are increasingly seen as an unnecessary draw on space, ultimately counter-productive and a huge drain on budgets. Thought managers may argue that confidential work necessitates privacy, appraisals and sensitive phone calls are usually sparse and even confidential space can be made flexible.

Moving away from fixed desks to agile working spaces will help streamline your office and help your workers streamline their own processes and routines. Office workers are generally terrible hoarders; paperwork piles up, brochures, business cards and general office supplies and stationary creep in and clutter accumulates. When calculating your spatial requirements, you need to evaluate what is essential to your staff’s working day and what is a personal accent. The change forces workers to ask themselves questions like ‘do I really need this Dominoes voucher list sitting in my drawer for the next 6 months?’

How did hotdesking start?

The term hotdesking has roots in the military; in submarines and ships where multiple crew members would be assigned to a bed or ‘rack’ to maximise space. When one sailor came off duty he would take the place of a sleeping sailor and the next one would replace him and so on.

While being a far more hygienic practice, up until recent year’s hotdesking still had a stigma attached to it. Now it is being used more and more to not only utilise space, but make workers feel like more of a complete unit, rather than segmented teams that overlap at the coffee machine or printer.

The main apprehension that you need to tackle with the absence of permanent work spaces is that workers can get guaranteed access to the right facilities, equipment and resources whenever they need to.

Saving space… Lockers are essential for hotdesking

The role of desks in the workplace has changed dramatically in the past decade – what was once a necessity of the office has been demoted to just one of many possible options. Many organisations are moving towards a more flexible working environment without fixed spaces, and so personal storage has become a crucial part of the workings of any team.

In workspace analysis it is common to find that only a fraction of the stations are used at any given time, resulting in a waste of both and space budget. As territorial creatures however, we like our own space and we mark that space with #1 Dad mugs and family photos. Desk sharing is always a tricky subject to broach; workers can feel detached and dislocated if it isn’t intelligently introduced. When executed well, however, collaborative, open spaces can foster improved working relations and enhance the mood and productivity of your office.

Lock up, branch out 

It falls to lockers, a storage solution typically restricted to gyms and schools, to unlock the potential of flexible workspaces. As soon as you remove personal space and remove the safety of an assigned desk it’s even more important to assign an area for staff to store their things and call their own.

Lockers shouldn’t just be afterthought either.

The absence of individual areas in collaborative spaces has catalysed a trend towards a more customised look to personal storage. Lockers can be incorporated into the interior design and properly integrated into the overall feel of your environment, making them work to your advantage by maximising their space, location and look.

Shifting toward this more modern method of working is an iterative process and it should be a collaborative one too. Let your departments figure out what is essential to them and what isn’t; having an interactive approach will also help your teams feel more involved and more satisfied with their environment. Once staff realise that the absence of a personal desk doesn’t mean their position is under threat, they will become more at ease with the idea of flexible working.

The luxury of storing Tupperware and framed school photos and gym clothes around the desk may have been sacrificed, but effective and efficient storage is still available.