Storing paper records takes up more space than you may realize. In that mass of paper, it can be difficult to find the specific records you need, and as a result, employees spend hours each week hunting for essential data. Paper records introduce a host of deficiencies in addition to wasted time. They are vulnerable to human error which can lead to loss or damage, and are also at risk of being destroyed during unexpected weather events — scenarios that often result in logistical and legal nightmares.
So, in the interest of making your office’s record-keeping practices more efficient and less risky, you decide to digitize your records and implement a digital records management system. Once your office goes digital, you’ll find you suddenly have a ton of extra office space on your hands, and no idea what to do with it! Lucky for you, we have some suggestions.
- More employees
People are your biggest asset. With freed-up office space, you’ll have room to add desks for people who have a lot to add to your organization. Get more done and develop new ideas and creative solutions to your company’s problems.
- Invest in a fitness room:
Add a treadmill, rowing machine and some free weights, and the room that previously housed records can be easily converted into a fitness room. Employees will love being able to take a break to get some exercise and clear their minds mid-day. No need to fret about lost time during the work day — exercise has been shown to increase productivity and morale. Employees can also save on gym memberships and eliminate their commute time to the gym, allowing them to stay at the office longer.
- Meditation room
Like a fitness room, a meditation room is a space to take a break during a stressful day, so that you can return to work refreshed. As a bonus, minimal equipment is required, making a meditation room feasible for any office or budget.
- Open floor plan? Space out the desks!
Open office floor plans are great — they foster creativity, give employees the opportunity to collaborate and communicate with one another easily, and promote camaraderie. But having a little more personal space
between desks or pods allows for all of the upsides of an open floor plan, while also providing employees with some much-needed elbow room and privacy.
- Game room
Having a dedicated space in the office just for play can improve creativity, teamwork, and allow employees to unwind while keeping their minds sharp. The area could be dedicated to legos, or include any number of stimulating activities and games like puzzles, foosball, and board games, which all increase productivity.
- Dedicated phone booths
Is your office short on quiet, private spaces to take calls? If a room previously used to house records becomes available, turn it into a comfortable phone call room. If an entire room isn’t freed up but some space is, install dedicated phone booths. With an area devoted to calls, employees will be able to think clearly, take notes, and have privacy during phone meetings.
- Office library
Add some bookshelves and a comfy chair to an old records storage room and have each employee bring in a book that means a lot to them. Suddenly your office includes a calm retreat that can be used to take a break, to learn something new, or to provide a change of scenery. You can even host monthly reading contests or a book club!
- More relaxed meeting areas
Your office may already have traditional, formal conference rooms, but they may not be ideal for every type of meeting. To get creative ideas going during more casual meetings, add some couches and bean bags to your old records room to turn it into a laid-back space to brainstorm. Employees won’t feel restricted by the stuffy vibe of a traditional conference room and will feel more comfortable thinking outside the box and bouncing ideas off of one another.
- Bike storage
Encourage employees to go green and bike to work by turning the records room into a place to house their bikes during the day. If your records weren’t kept in a dedicated room but in bulky file cabinets throughout the office, you can still turn that space into bike storage with some light desk rearrangement. Providing employees with areas to keep their bikes shows them you care about making their commute more convenient.
- Get a low-maintenance office pet
At Ripcord we have a sulcata tortoise named Louie who lives in a big tub in the office and eats cactus pads and lettuce. We take turns feeding him and love showing him off to visitors. Louie came to Ripcord with a name, but having an office-wide naming contest for a pet would be a fun way to get everyone excited about the newest member of the office. Having an office pet can reduce stress, increase productivity, and make the office a happier place.