8 Workspace Solutions For Shipping Container Offices
Finding novel workspace solutions has become a trend since startups entered the small business forum in Ontario. Suddenly finding the latest, hippest, greenest and most unusual office space seemed to go hand in hand with the new small business owners on the scene. One of those trends that continues to gain traction is transforming shipping containers into office spaces. Here we look at eight workspace solutions for shipping container offices.
1. Smart use of electrical and plumbing
Since your shipping container will require modification you have the opportunity to customize your modification to suit your needs. You should consider how you can install your electrical and plumbing wisely based on how you plan to use your limited space. This is an ideal time to take advantage of any green opportunities available and look into the latest trends in electrical and plumbing conservation.
For example, can you introduce skylights or more windows to reduce the need for electric lighting? Are solar panels an option? Are the new toilet technologies something you might consider such as composting toilets? These ideas can help you come up with smarter use of your electrical and plumbing sources and complement sustainable designs.
2. Environmental controls
Your workstations need to be comfortable, especially if you’re expecting to be working in tight quarters. This means more thought should be given to your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) options. Some considerations include:
- Efficient Window Air Conditioners instead of a massive HVAC system
- Installing air ducts divided into multiple sections to allow the air to flow freely from one part of the office to another
- Rooftop turbine vents that run without power
- Exhaust fans or fixed louvre vents to provide effective, electricity-free venting and air conditioning
- Ductless heating systems to improve headspace and offer more control over the temperature
Combined with proper insulation you can keep your container comfortable for workers all year round.
3. Pleasant work environment
As mentioned above, you might consider adding special windows as part of your modification. Natural light provides a more pleasant work environment while also being more eco-friendly. Windows also greatly help open up small spaces and create a far more pleasant work environment. If you do opt for windows to bring in more natural light, consider skylights as they will cast light from above, so no workstation will be blocked by the others.
If you are worried about leaks from skylights, another option is to have a completely open-concept space or use clear panels to provide sound control while still allowing light to filter into each workspace. However, modifications are designed to last, so leaks should not be a problem!
4. Ideal for mobile businesses
If you have a business that tends to be mobile such as a building, contracting or renovation company, shipping container offices can also be designed to remain mobile. This allows you to move your office from site to site easily. You can save money on trailer rentals, while also helping build brand awareness with a fully branded office designed with your business in mind.
5. Keeping it scalable
One of the reasons shipping container offices work so well for startups is that they are scalable. As your business grows you can continue to add new containers, with an easy solution that allows you to build out or up. Depending on your location, you can add a second floor because the containers are designed to be stackable or you can add “wings” or adjacent “rooms”. Their complete versatility allows you to expand to suit your business and your site.
6. Branching out
Shipping containers are also an easily affordable way to branch out to other locations. They are probably one of the best options for businesses such as vehicle rental services or car lots as they can be plunked down in the lot and take up very little space. It works well for all types of businesses that require small branch offices, such as insurance companies, but can also be ideal for companies that plan events. They can purchase a “fleet” of modified containers and use them as staff offices at various event sites.
7. Separate entries
You can also create office space with two separate offices. This provides privacy whether it is between the management office and employees or to create a workspace and meeting space, which works perfectly at job sites for builders. The site manager can have their own private workspace and then have a separate area with a large desk to spread out plans and review them with clients or tradespeople.
8. Storage and office space
Another consideration is having one area finished as office space and the other fitted with shelving to create storage. This can work on different levels and for many different types of companies. For example, a business with a pickup and delivery service can receive packages, store them in one area and then have an office where they are picked up, tracked etc.
Another option is for renovation services where tradespeople can drop by the office to pick up pre-ordered materials or specialty items such as customized work, countertops, vanities, faucets etc.
Shipping containers are the building module of the future, providing easy building options that work for both residential and commercial space. They can be permanently on-site or be designed to remain mobile. They take up little space, are extremely affordable and are easily scalable to suit growing business needs. As a new office space option, they stretch the boundaries of shipping container use, providing a private space that can serve as a single office or a shared office space.
These workspace solutions for shipping container offices help address some of the common uses while offering good ideas to ensure your workspace is as functional and comfortable as possible.
If you would like more information about new shipping containers, or to rent a shipping container in Ontario, call Sigma Containers at (416) 366-7762 or contact us here.