Shipping containers are an increasingly viable option for small businesses because of the flexibility they provide to new and growing companies. What once was a simple box is now a completely customizable office or storage space, but is it the right fit for your business?
Many business owners rely on mobile office containers not only as temporary storage for their office equipment and supplies but also as an on-site workplace where employees can perform their daily tasks in a unique and innovative environment.
So, let’s look at some of the benefits of using shipping containers for business purposes, as well as some of the limitations of these portable solutions.
Benefits of Shipping Containers
One of the most obvious benefits of using shipping containers for business purposes is the amount that you can save compared to constructing an office on your own. Office containers are an even more ideal choice if you need only a temporary office on a job site – building something similar runs more expensive than purchasing a preexisting container.
Also, renting an office isn’t cheap, so these containers are an alternative to that option that helps to limit the overhead of your business even more than leasing space! Renting expensive office spaces in a commercial building also relies on location-based factors, such as commuting and public transportation. The travel expenses that you can save yourself and your employees if you put the container in a convenient location can be significant.
Now, you can’t simply put the container anywhere you please, as there are some limitations regarding local zoning laws and what constitutes an office, both of which vary significantly by state.
Convenient and Customizable Workplace Design
How will your employees and your business benefit from the actual container setup? Having a completely enclosed and private office container is a more conducive workplace for everyone. Office containers are considered quiet and comfortable, and their customizable nature allows you to improve on the interior design and even its overall structure, based on what your specific business and ergonomic needs.
Customizing a rented office space is difficult, and often subject to the approval of the real estate company or office management firm. However, a shipping container is completely customizable. You can choose everything from the lighting, amount of built-in desk space, shelves and restroom facilities, which all make for a more convenient and professional workspace for everyone.
Customizable space not only accommodates your employees, but also walk-in clients, as you can set up a small conference room by interior partition or add a waiting room area. When it comes to interior design and layout, you can also try finished interior walls and ceilings to give a complete look of an office space that is unique yet highly functional.
Sustainability and Cost-Saving Options
Environmentally friendly options tend to have lower energy costs, and office containers could provide you with sustainable materials that support low-carbon emission and limited wasted energy. Office containers can be built with vents, sliding or walk-in doors to let natural air and light enter, and a number of other options that reduce energy consumption.
If you are looking for air-conditioned containers but still want to have alternative vents, this is possible through its customization. Office containers can combine multiple facets of each design layout, which help businesses balance cost-saving measures with comfort.
If you want to start with a 10ft, ready-to-go job site office container, then that’s a great individual office. If you want a bigger office that can accommodate multiple employees and that you can divide for your storage room and working area, there are multiple configurations to choose from.
The only limitation to design is your creativity. While there are plenty of ready-to-go designs that are innovative and quirky, your own touch may be the real differentiator.
Drawbacks of Office Containers
While shipping containers have their perks, especially for those who need a living or a working space setup in no time, using these as main office sites come with some downsides too.
Shipping containers require external and internal material treatment. You will also need to set aside spare funds for repairs and touch ups to treat it regularly against corrosion. If you’re putting your office in a tree-laden suburban setting, you have to be wary about the pH of the soil on which you place it. Humidity is also another consideration since it contributes to the rate of corrosion of steel.
Another drawback is how to handle expansion when you’re using office containers. If you want to add space, there isn’t really an intermediate option – you either need to fill the one you have or add another container.
Aesthetics are easy to design in a portable office container, but it’s hard to mimic the feeling of an office building. If you think that your company needs the feel of a traditional commercial office, then you should look to leasing some space – you can’t fully replicate this setting with containers.
Regardless of these drawbacks, shipping containers make for a great office space, both temporarily or permanently. There should be plenty of options from which you can choose, and the success of your attempt is all based on your ability to plan for your office space.
Bio: Daryl Clark has been assisting with online marketing for 6 years. He has been managing online businesses for 17 years and is the owner of D. Clark Associates. www.azteccontainer.com.