The Role of Storage in the Post-Pandemic Workplace
As companies plan to ‘return to work’, the focus of the workplace is shifting from shared spaces to individual and safely distanced zones. And storage has an important part to play. For some time, storage has performed a dual role in the office, not only providing space and security for possessions, but also defining layout and dividing zones. These functions will become more intrinsic to workplace design, facilitating separation and minimising close interaction between employees.
At Bisley we’re taking stock of the crisis, learning to adapt and evolve our thinking for the changing workplace environment. Applying Bisley’s vision to pioneer solutions that meet the challenges of today, and help you plan for tomorrow, we share our insights and suggestions for the role of storage in the post-pandemic workplace.
We are becoming accustomed to the useful floor markings and signs that remind us to keep a safe 2m distance in public. Storage can be cleverly and sensitively used to reinforce or replace this messaging in the COVID-19 conscious workplace.
Free-standing solutions such as Towers by Bisley can act as high dividers and screening between workstations. Two Towers side by side immediately add 800mm between staff, and double-up as desk-side personal lockers.
Equally, Bite – a clever twist on the standard pedestal which wraps neatly over and under desking – can be placed at suitable distances along bench desking to divide users. Bite locks away personal possessions and has a flip-up lid exposing a writeable surface that can add further screening between colleagues.
In communal greeting and meeting areas, furniture can encourage one-way systems or division without intruding on design. Modern credenza Bridge brings together temporary stowage and unobtrusive space division in one seamless system. Entirely customisable with a breadth of colours, textures and fabrics to choose from, Bridge is a stylish and useful complement to any shared area.
Bridge by Bisley
For walkways, taller storage can help to direct staff in the right circulatory way around a building, with an ideal height being just below the eye for visibility. Our Be Frame Toppers can be used in these environments, along with high-backed individual seats.
“Storage is one of the most useful products to create zoning, where you need to divide workspaces for safe distancing, or from the open, rest and collaboration areas." – Robin Bayliss, Group Sales Director at Bisley
Pedestals by Bisley
The era of hot-desking is over for the foreseeable future. With the return to work, employees will not only welcome a personal space, but personal storage that’s secure and within reach.
Shared lockers are not currently a safe option with the risks of touching surfaces and congregation in communal areas. Personal lockers right under or attached to a user’s desk are the perfect solution.
“No one will want to and shouldn’t share anything. What you use must be yours and only yours, otherwise you have to wipe it clean.” – Robin Bayliss, Group Sales Director at Bisley
Under desk pedestals are the simple way to keep desks clutter-free and personal possessions secure. The Bisley range of units all have lockable drawers for secure storage of files or personal belongings. Staff can have their own storage rather than share, with plenty of room as more things are brought to work - such as lunch.
Buddy by Bisley
An alternative to the free-standing pedestal, Buddy is our latest single-use locker solution designed to accompany height adjustable desking. Buddy’s compact and space efficient design allows users to feel reassured that not only are their belongings stowed securely in their safe personal space, but that they are always within reach, for maximum productivity.
Bite by Bisley
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve already witnessed just how quickly working practices and the demands of the workplace can change. Design for the future office needs to adopt an approach that can flex to changing working practices and employee needs.
Workplaces can be more easily and effectively adjusted when they feature mobile storage. The distanced zones that we are becoming used to, could revert to more freely shared spaces in the not too distant future.
Caddy by Bisley
The Caddy can be conveniently positioned under a desk, against a wall or used to create space division. In the 1000mm width, two Caddys can be used to mark a safe divide between workspaces, while providing lockable storage at the desk. And adding a seat pad makes the Caddy an ideal perch for impromptu collaboration, whether it’s at a safe distance now or closer in the future.
Towers by Bisley
The flexibility that comes with steel storage also makes it a longer-term and more environmentally friendly solution for the post-pandemic workplace.
Many companies have needed to act fast. Yet temporary solutions such as plastic screens and dividers are likely to become unnecessary and end up in landfill. The environment will lose out with this disposable approach.
Caddy by Bisley
On the other hand, steel storage is built to last a lifetime and can be fully recycled at the end of use. It will always have its place in the office, whether it’s used to demarcate and divide or bring people together in future times.
“Storage products will continue to offer a genuine dual purpose, while giving true consideration to the environment. The safe and secure storage of personal possessions, will take on a new level of importance, as will the division of space for social distancing purposes.” – Gary Helm, Founder at obo
Buddy by Bisley
Now, more than ever, we’re conscious of the surfaces that we regularly use and touch. And in the workplace, storage is touched multiple times a day, whether it’s to retrieve personal possessions, search for files or secure equipment. Furniture that is easy to clean and made of hygienic materials will be welcomed as employees return to the workplace.
Steel remains one of the most hygienic materials known to man. Its non-porous surface can be easily and thoroughly wiped clean. And our paint process enables Bisley steel storage to be cleaned with a bleach solution without any damage or deterioration to the material.
Steel storage solutions by Bisley are also available with keyless locking systems. Use of personal RFID cards to open individual or shared lockers reduces the need to touch surfaces and can further help colleagues and customers to feel safe in the workplace.
Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss further ideas for the post-pandemic workspace with Bisley.