Storing all the necessary documents correctly is crucial in an organised, efficient and law abiding business. Whether you run a multinational corporation or are a sole trader, you will have certain pieces of paperwork which must be kept for three year, six years or sometimes indefinitely. Having a logical and effective place to store these documents will mean you have an easier time as and when an audit is required.
Choosing your filing cabinets carefully can make all the difference to how your storage is working for you. What might be right for someone else’s business may not be the best solution for your company. You need to carefully consider what type of files you are going to be storing and how much space you have available, and this should lead you to the right type of cabinet for your needs. Here are some tips to help you get started:
· Plan ahead
Of course you should consider your needs now, but try think about the future too. As your business grows, so your filing requirements may grow too, so it’s important to select a filing cabinet that offers room for expansion.
· Understand the styles of filing cabinets
One of the main decisions you need to make is whether to opt for a lateral file cabinet or a vertical file cabinet. The former is the wider of the two, and is built for high-volume capacity. These can have anything from two to five drawers, ideally suited to legal or letter-size documents. They can be placed in areas that vertical filing cabinets cannot, as they require less space for drawer expansion. If you have a narrow office or a hallway area, a lateral cabinet would be ideal.
On the other hand, vertical filing cabinets are also a popular choice for many, as they don’t use a lot of wall space due to being taller than they are wide. These are also suited to legal and letter-size documents, and have anything from two to five drawers. These filing cabinets demand an office with a lot of walking space, however, their compactness makes them ideal for long-term storage.
· Decide if you need it to be mobile
Are you intending to use a set of files a lot? Do they need to be moved around the office? If so, you may want to consider a mobile filing cart. They tend to be no wider than 15 inches, and no higher than 30 inches. They are handy and can be tucked under a desk or table when no one is using them.
· Safeguard your documents
When storing confidential files, it is important to take their protection into consideration. Search for filing cabinets that have a central locking feature, which means the same mechanism is used to secure all the drawers, with one key is used for all. You may also want to think about a fireproof cabinet.
· Check out the safety features
Opting for a poor quality cabinet can actually end up being a health and safety hazard in your office. Look for something that has an anti-tip feature, as this will stop more than one drawer in the filing cabinet from opening at the same time.
· Pick the right material
Finally, consider the material that has been used to construct the filing cabinet as it has a direct link with quality, durability, and construction. Wood is good for small work offices and home offices, when there is not a lot of use, as it looks nice and is relatively hard wearing. However, in a larger office steel is the preferred choice as it can withstand a lot of use and is extremely durable.
Choosing a great filling cabinet for your office can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming because there is simply so much choice out there. If you need any advice or further information on these products, please do talk to our team for assistance.