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Re-imagining filing rooms
With the rise of digital storage and mobile technology, workplaces have seen dramatic changes in the 21st century. These changes have streamlined data flow and have contributed to improved productivity, but they have also led to the extinction of filing rooms. With some creativity and fresh furniture, old filing rooms can be revamped into spaces that are inspired by their past purposes but contribute to the productivity that is expected in modern workplaces.
Filing rooms were once libraries of information organized with accuracy. From the floors to the ceiling, rows of shelving held the vital information necessary for business. Now all this information is stored on computers and retrieved with the click of a mouse.
With the need for security and preservation, filing rooms were commonly situated in the middle of office buildings – far from windows and with limited access. These rooms were not designed for relaxation, but instead focused on jamming as much information as possible in an organized fashion.
The transition from paper to digital files has eased the burden on data cataloguers and archivists, and it has left workplaces with a unique problem: what to do with the giant filing rooms. With some creativity and ingenuity, this problem is rather an opportunity for workplaces to transform unoccupied spaces into functional additions that promote collaboration, productivity and overall workflow.
Considering filing rooms are typically large and unassuming, they can make ideal locations for tasks that require concentration and focus. Adaptable workstations can be added to the rooms with benching furniture to allow any employee to find a spot that is free of distractions. A space for focus is a perfect combination for collaboration and meeting spaces.
With an abundance of shelves, filing rooms are ideal locations for secure storage rooms. Improvements in data technology have let us switch from folders to computers, but that has increased our need in repair and storage spaces for the IT department. Filing rooms can be easily adapted to storage spaces for computers and equipment, giving convenient access for quick fixes.
Lastly, consider moving equipment or storage items into old filing rooms to give more space in more ideal locations. For example, stationary and printing equipment that is rarely used can be moved out of common areas and into a filing room. With more room in common areas, workstations or collaboration spots can be expanded – more work can be done in the same amount of space.