With the rise of technology, start-ups, the self-employed, and people working from home due to the pandemic and lockdowns, there has been an increase in people looking for storage solutions for work and business reasons.
Self-storage can be a useful tool for businesses and individuals alike in their need to make work from home arrangements and here’s how.
With the pandemic sending people home to work, more businesses find it unnecessary to keep expensive leases in the CBD. During the lockdowns a lot of them renegotiated their leases and opted for smaller spaces.
Many businesses chose to downsize to save on rent. They sent people to work from home and ended up storing all the furniture and equipment. For many businesses it gave them the flexibility to cut rental costs without having to get rid of assets which could be returned to the office once the lockdowns were over.
In the case of some businesses, the choice to downsize and let employees work from home became permanent. Self-storage allowed them to store furniture and equipment until they decided what to do with it, i.e. sell it or send it to their employees’ home.
Decluttering to create office space at home
When businesses started sending people to work at home, most of them didn’t have a designated workspace. After a few weeks of working from home, most people find it difficult to separate work from home life, and to stay productive and mindful without creating that workspace.
The solution is self-storage. It’s a way to declutter without having to sell or dispose of anything you’ll need later. You can put furniture and other items in storage to turn a guest or spare bedroom into an office or create an office space in the living/dining room or garage. Having that separate space enables individuals to compartmentalise and create healthy boundaries.
Small businesses or larger businesses who benefit from downsizing can use self-storage as a flexible, easy way to hold stock without the complications and expense that come from leasing a warehouse. Small businesses benefit from keeping their stock in a place that has security, temperature-control, humidity control and is insured.
Not only that, but self-storage also gives them the opportunity to grow if their stock levels have to increase. Yet, they can still reduce their storage requirement from month to month if they don’t need it anymore whereas storing in a large warehouse may mean paying for space that isn’t being used.
Having a separate space to check stock levels, quality control of inventory can also give peace of mind to a business owner. Keeping stock at home is far from ideal as it means pets and children can access it, it takes up private space and is more exposed to fluctuating temperatures and humidity. As a business owner, it can also be beneficial to have a separate space to work in when checking stock to have a physical and mental break from home life.
Assessing your space and all your things is important whether you are a business or a professional working from home. In a big office space or warehouse, clutter often accumulates without any oversight. With downsizing and work from home, people have been able to think more carefully about how they use their space and the items that are taking up said space.
Individuals can think about what they really need at home versus what can be stored away temporarily. With a home office space, they also must organise what it is they need: the type of furniture, equipment, files, paperwork and stationery. It also forces them to keep the spaces separate and tidy to avoid boundaries being crossed at home.
As for businesses, moving items into self-storage gives them a self-imposed deadline to declutter office furniture, equipment, and files. It forces them to differentiate between what is essential for their employees to do their job (for example, computers and good communication channels) and what can be turned into a digital platform to save space, e.g., paper trails.
Of course, not all self-storage makes people more organised, often businesses and their employees’ box anything and everything and put things into storage without questioning whether they need it which can be an unnecessary cost for both parties.
For anyone, self-storage is beneficial if the business or individual assesses their needs, the time they need storage for and plans it all accordingly.