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How To Store Office Equipment Safely and Efficiently For Social Distancing

As we gear into the new normal and transition back into working in the office, the threat of COVID-19 remains looming. Because of this, social distancing has to remain in effect, in all public places, including banks, shops, public transportation, and offices.

In line with this need for social distancing, the Health and Safety Executive released a set of guidelines where recommendations on how to practise and maintain social distancing in the workplace were made. Among these recommendations, the HSE urged businesses to eliminate the pinch points in their office to help the employees maintain the prescribed 2-metre distance at all times.

In turn, this recommendation has forced many businesses to reconsider their office space planning and temporarily keep non-essential equipment and workstations in a storeroom in their office or a storage unit. This task, although seemingly simple and easy at first, is more complicated than it sounds. After all, more than keeping the stuff organised in storage, it is vital to make sure that everything is safely stored to prevent costly damages down the line.

Here are some tips you may find useful in storing office equipment:

Disassemble Items That Can Be Broken Down Into Pieces

Take apart desks, chairs, and other furniture that can be disassembled or broken down into pieces. By doing this, you are making more room in your storage unit and making sure that everything is safe and secure.

Attach small pieces, nuts, bolts, and if possible, instructions all in one baggy.

Keep Your Wires and Cables Organised

Do not leave wires and cables attached to any electrical equipment, as transporting them with these wires and cords attached may cause damage to the cable ports and terminals.

Take them out, roll them up and store them together in a baggy attached to the equipment. You may also want to take a picture of how these cables are connected to the computers or electrical equipment before pulling them out. This way, you can easily assemble your electronics when the need arises.

Back Up Data From Your Computers

“Safe” doesn’t only apply to tangible items like tables, chairs, and electrical equipment. You will also want to keep the files on your computer safe and secure.

So, before storing your computers/electronics, make sure to keep a backup of the data on each one. You may back up these files by uploading them to the cloud or saving them on a flash drive or external hard drive.

Pay Special Attention To Fragile Equipment

Pack glass-top office tables, mirrors, and other fragile or breakable office furniture properly before storing them.

You may wrap them in old rags and towels, bubble wrap, or newspaper, and then keep it in a large, sturdy box to keep it protected.

Label these boxes as FRAGILE to make sure that these boxes are handled with care.

Take Out Items That May Cause Leaks 

Tape Shut Any Equipment That Can Flip Open

If you have pieces of equipment that are battery-operated, be sure to take the batteries out before storing them. Batteries decay over time, and the leaks will damage the electrical equipment to which they are attached.

You will also want to take ink cartridges out of printers and copiers that are going into storage, as leaving them in could either cause it to dry out and damage the printer’s mechanism, or create a messy leak that could also damage the printer or copier.

Speaking of printers, make sure to tape them up, as well as any other pieces of equipment that may flip open. Otherwise, your electrical equipment may come out of storage damaged due to moisture, dust, or extreme temperature.

Keep Everything Labelled and Stored In Its Proper Place

Always keep your equipment organised, even if you are only moving it to storage.

Make a list of everything going into storage, label all the boxes and containers, and assign a section of your storage unit for a specific kind of office equipment. (i.e. tables and chairs, computers, filing cabinets, etc.)

By doing so, you will be preventing any untraceable losses and make it easier for you to access a particular item you need to pull out of storage. When you organise, you also get to save on space, allowing you to rent a much smaller storage unit.

Help Prevent Deterioration or Damage That Your Equipment May Acquire Over Time

Dust, air, moisture, temperature, and time will play a part in the deterioration of any piece of equipment in storage. This, sadly, is unavoidable. However, there are a few ways for you to help slow down the deterioration and minimise the overall damage. You may do this by:

  • Wipe metal objects and metal elements on your office furniture down with a metal cleaner to prevent oxidation and corrosion due to rusting.
  • Use wood cleaner to wipe down and protect the finishing of wooden pieces of furniture and equipment.
  • Cover up all pieces of equipment and furniture with cloth or plastic to protect your items from exposure to dust and air, which could lead to discolouration and deterioration.
  • Make sure all your items are clean and dry before storing them, to prevent the buildup of mould.
  • Keep loose pieces of electrical equipment in an airtight container to keep it safe from dust, air, and moisture.

Alternatively, you may avail a climate-controlled self storage unit to keep your equipment safe, intact, and in good condition. Take into consideration that the reason why you’re renting a storage unit is to keep your items safe and secure. It would be counterintuitive if your items get destroyed in the process.

Do know how to rearrange your office furniture for social distancing?

If you do then, great! Make sure you are storing any unneeded furniture and equipment correctly as described above.

If you don’t then our space planning services will ease this process. Our design team will need to know the capacity of the office you would like to have at one time, including your current office furniture layout and can rearrange this accordingly for you.

Sound like something you need assistance with? Call the experts on 0333 600 1234 or fill out the form below.