Whether you’re designing your company’s office for the first time or looking to renovate its existing office, you might be wondering whether to use lockers. Corporate offices contain more than just desks and chairs. While no two corporate offices are the same, many of them contain lockers as well. It’s a useful addition that can benefit your company’s employees in several ways. In this article, you’ll learn more about office lockers and why they’ve become so popular in corporate offices.
What Is an Office Locker?
Also known as an employee storage locker, an office locker is a secure storage solution that’s designed for use in corporate offices. It provides employees with a safe and secure area to store their belongings.
Like school lockers, office lockers typically contain multiple compartments. Each compartment supports the use of a lock. Employees can place their belongings inside one of the compartments, after which they secure the compartment with a standard combination lock or keyed lock. At the end of the day, employees can retrieve their belongings from their respective compartments.
Lockers have been around for over a century. While the inventor of the modern-day locker remains unknown, some of the earliest known lockers can be traced back to the mid-1800s when they were used as storage solutions for ships. In the decades to follow, lockers made their way into schools. Today, you can find them in a variety of environments, including schools, retail stores, manufacturing facilities, and offices. The term “office locker” simply refers to a locker that’s designed specifically for use in a corporate office.
Benefits of Using Office Lockers
Office lockers offer several benefits, one of which is personalization. Employees can personalize their office locker compartment with photos, notes, cards, or other items of sentimental value. Why does this matter? According to a study published in the Semantic Scholar, personalized workspaces reduce stress and increase job satisfaction.
While employees can personalize other areas of their workspace, such as their desk or cubicle, an office locker compartment is ideal for this purpose. Office locker compartments are discreet. They don’t stick out while attracting the attention of your company’s employees, clients, or customers. Rather, the compartments are naturally concealed. As a result, employees will have the freedom to personalize their compartment, which may result in reduced stress levels and increased job satisfaction.
Office lockers will safeguard your employees’ belongings from theft. When you assign an office locker to an employee, only he or she will be able to access it – assuming the employee attached a lock to it. The employee’s coworkers won’t be able to open his or her locker compartment.
It’s not something that most employers want to think about, but internal theft is a serious problem in the workplace. According to CNBC, employee theft costs U.S. companies roughly $50 billion, collectively, per year. Nefarious employees don’t just steal from their employers, though. Some of them steal from their coworkers. With office lockers, you can give your employees peace of mind knowing that their belongings are protected from theft. If an employee is worried that someone will steal his or her belongings, the employee can use an office locker.
Some of the different items that employees frequently store inside office lockers include:
- Tablet computers
- Laptop computers
- USB flash drives
- Car keys
- Prescription glasses
- Extra clothes
- Important documents or papers
You can easily install office lockers. Although there are many types of office lockers, most of them feature a similar design consisting of a free-standing vertical unit. After buying an office locker, you can place it up against an unused wall. Office lockers don’t require any special tools or hardware to install. Just find an appropriate area somewhere along an unused wall.
How to Choose Office Lockers
While all office lockers provide employees with a safe and secure storage environment, not all of them are the same. There are many different types of office lockers, some of which may prove better for your company than others. Therefore, you shouldn’t buy the first office lockers that you come across. You’ll get greater value out of your office lockers by choosing the right type.
When shopping for office lockers, consider the number of columns it contains. Some office lockers have a single column, whereas others have two, three, or four columns. Generally speaking, the more columns an office locker has, the more horizontal space it will consume when installed. But don’t let that fool you into thinking a single-column office locker is the best choice. Single-column office lockers typically have fewer, as well as smaller, compartments than their multi-column counterparts.
Something else to consider when shopping for office lockers is the color. Since they are usually installed in a communal area, they’ll affect your office’s aesthetics. If the office lockers clash with the surrounding furniture, they’ll create an eyesore that harms the appearance of your office. For a cohesive and attractive office, you need to choose office lockers in an appropriate color.
Beige and gray are popular colors for office lockers. They are both considered universal colors, so they naturally match most other colors. Regardless of the colors used in your office, beige or gray will probably match. Feel free to choose office lockers in a different color. Just remember to choose a color that matches the rest of your office.
Perhaps the most important feature to look for when shopping for office lockers is a durable construction. Office lockers are designed specifically to provide employees with a safe and secure environment in which to store their belongings. If an office locker is made of weak or otherwise low-quality materials, it won’t serve its intended purpose. A thief or vandal could break it, or a low-quality office locker may simply degrade to the point where it no longer functions properly.
In terms of strength, you can’t go wrong with steel office lockers. Some office lockers are made of aluminum, but aluminum fails to offer the same level of strength as steel. Steel is heavier, denser, and harder. When used in the construction of office lockers, it provides a stronger and more secure storage environment for employees.
Metal office lockers are undoubtedly strong and durable, but they may be susceptible to corrosion. Like all metal objects and surfaces, metal office lockers can corrode. The good news is that many office lockers are designed with a protective finish to repel corrosion. There are powder-coated office lockers, for example, that contain a layer of hardened powder particles.
Powder-coated office lockers are typically made of metal, but they are coated with powder. The presence of this powder layer creates a barrier between the underlying metal and the surrounding environment, thereby protecting the office lockers from corrosion. Moisture in the air – humidity – won’t be able to reach the metal. The end result is better protection against corrosion.
Where to Install Office Lockers
After choosing the right type of office lockers, you’ll need to determine an area in which to install them. Because it’s a communal area, a breakroom is an excellent place to install office lockers. Employees use breakrooms to relax, converse, and consume food or beverages while on break. Some reports even suggest that employees are more productive when given the opportunity to unwind in a breakroom.
If your company has a breakroom in its office, you may want to install the office lockers in it. Office lockers generally aren’t used by a single employee. Although there are single-compart office lockers available, most of them contain multiple compartments. This multi-compartment design allows them to be used by multiple employees. Installing office lockers in a breakroom ensures that all employees can easily use them while on break.
A breakroom isn’t the only area where you can install office lockers. You can install them in any communal area. Some companies have office lockers in their conference room. Conference rooms, of course, are used for meetings. However, their communal nature makes them an appropriate place for office lockers. As long as there isn’t a meeting taking place, employees can enter the conference room to use the office lockers.
You can even install office lockers in a hallway. Although they are tall, office lockers don’t consume much space. Therefore, you can install them in a hallway that’s accessible to all your company’s employees. If you’re not confident that an office locker will fit in a hallway, check its dimensions. You should be able to see its height, width, and depth. You can then measure out these dimensions to determine whether the office locker will fit in the hallway.
Don’t Forget the Locks
Keep in mind that most office lockers aren’t sold with locks. You’ll have to either ask your employees to bring their own lock, or, you can purchase locks separately for them to use.
Office lockers work with all types of standard-sized locks, including combination locks and keyed locks. Combination locks are the most popular choice because they don’t require a physical key. Employees can open them by entering the correct number or sequence of numbers. In comparison, keyed locks require a physical key. If an employee loses the key to his or her compartment, the employee won’t be able to open it.
Keyed locks aren’t necessarily bad for office lockers. If used correctly, they can prove beneficial. Instead of allowing your employees to bring their own keyed locks, buy the keyed locks separately. You can then keep a spare key to each of the keyed locks. In the event an employee loses his or her key, you can use the spare key to open the employee’s compartment.
Whether you choose a combination or keyed locks, each compartment in an office locker requires a lock. Employees can technically use an unlocked compartment, but it won’t offer a safe and secure environment for their belongings.
How to Maintain Office Lockers
Office lockers can offer countless years of use when properly maintained. Unfortunately, many employers spend little or no time maintaining their office lockers. It’s only when a problem arises, such as a damaged compartment, that they acknowledge the importance of regular maintenance.
To make your office lockers last, read the instruction manual for maintenance tips. As mentioned above, there are many different types of office lockers. They vary in size, construction, and functionality. Since there are so many types, you should refer to the instruction manual for tips on how to maintain your office lockers. The instruction manual will reveal the safest and most effective way to care for them.
Office lockers will inevitably attract dust and dirt. As these particles settle on the lockers, they’ll create a dingy appearance. When this occurs, consider using a solution of soapy water to clean them. You don’t need to use any commercial-grade cleaning products. On the contrary, a mixture of liquid dish soap and water will suffice. Just spray the office lockers with the soapy water, after which you can wipe them down with a washcloth or rag.
If your office lockers are powder-coated, you may want to ask employees not to place stickers or other adhesives on them. Adhesives alone usually won’t harm the powder coating. If you or someone else attempts to remove the adhesive with a solvent, though, it may damage the powder coating. And if the powder coating is breached, the locker may corrode.
Aside from the occasional cleaning, office lockers don’t require much time or work to maintain. Assuming you choose high-quality and durable office lockers, they’ll withstand the hands of time with minimal effort on your behalf. Regardless, you can find information on how to clean and care for your office lockers in the instruction manual.
If you operate a corporate office, you should consider furnishing it with office lockers. Office lockers provide employees with a safe and secure environment to store their belongings. They feature individual storage compartments that support the use of a lock. Employees can place their belongings inside one of these compartments to protect them from theft.
President at Office Chairs Unlimited – I have been in the furniture industry for over 20 years, and I’m an expert (just ask me) on all things furniture. I know a thing or two because I’ve seen a thing or two.