A space to call your own: how personal storage reconnects employees to the work environment

Count up the number of people you know who have spent the past decade of their working life at the same desk, and you’ll likely have enough fingers left over to type your next search term or click along to a tune on the radio.

Working life has changed dramatically in recent times. From technology and family demands driving flexitime to the adoption of more modern approaches to office design, the chances of an employee being permanently moored to the same spot have decreased.

The trend is accelerating. According to Deloitte , demand for hot desking will grow by 45% year on year in the UK during 2020. Underpinning this is the rising cost of simply seating an employee: the average annual property cost for a British office worker is £4,800.

No longer tethered, workers might understandably feel free to roam not just within the office; psychologically, they could be more inclined to wander off for good. Employers are in danger of engendering a lack of loyalty - a premise that subconsciously drives people off the premises.

The scale of the problem might be bigger than you think. Some 80% of the UK’s workforce still go to the office every Monday to Friday. So how can office managers deal with this issue and make staff feel more “at home”?

Although at first it may not seem obvious, a personal storage space is an efficient and effective option. Smart lockers give an employee a secure, dedicated location where they can stow their possessions. This is critical in the age of hot desking when it will be more convenient to leave items in the office overnight, but you don’t know where you’ll be sitting from one day to the next.

Cutting-edge solutions exist that offer safe storage and don’t have to cost a fortune. They offer peace of mind for the user. And, crucially, they minimise time spent looking for a good location to leave possessions, from laptops to lunches.

Meanwhile, according to a survey, hot deskers waste 18 minutes a day on average looking for somewhere to work - close to a staggering two working weeks per year. Do you really want employees spending even more time seeking storage?

State-of-the-art electronic locker systems are revolutionising storage as part of wider office design. This technology-driven response to the requirements of UK businesses is increasing employee satisfaction and helping to maximise team productivity, while also optimising interior real estate. These solutions can also aid IT asset management, from reservation and allocation to replenishment and deposit for service.

But most crucially of all, such storage solutions can act as an anchor for an employee. It creates an owned space that may no longer be available in the shape of a permanent desk; it’s a dedicated space for belongings that strengthens belonging. Knowing everything is where you need it to be can have a huge effect on reducing stress and help towards increasing productivity.

Installing smart lockers can ensure working environments remain flexible without causing the often fruitless and frustrating faff of seeking safe storage. While employee loyalty might have been eroded in the name of agile working, it’s good to know that fixing the fundamentals will help office workers feel they still have a space to call their own.