There is one item of commercial furniture from Atama Furniture that you find in most offices, and even in some home offices, which is often taken for granted. Whilst people will spend hours deciding which office chair and office desk they want to buy, this specific office furniture gets no more than scant attention. We are, of course, talking about the filing cabinet, which has graced offices of all kinds for decades
A filing cabinet is often regarded as essential to many offices, and it will sit there day in and day out, just doing what it does. Storing files safely, and making them available to whoever opens one of its drawers. That is except when someone locks the filing cabinet and misplaces the key. Even then, the filing cabinet, through no fault of its own, gets a raw deal as people either kick it in frustration or worse, force it open with a screwdriver and damage it.
What may surprise you is that, whilst there may not be so many variations as there are with office chairs and desks, there are considerable numbers of variations between different filing cabinet products. As such, a lot more care and attention should be taken when choosing a filing cabinet for your office to ensure that your office’s needs are met. So, here are some important points you should consider when buying filing cabinets.
There will several factors that will determine the size of filing cabinets you can purchase. The first is the amount of floor space that is available in each office where a filing cabinet is going to be located.
You will also have to take into account the layout of those offices and thus the position of the filing cabinet to ensure that it is not blocking walkways or access to desks, for example. Finally, the amount of paperwork and documents it will need to hold will also influence what size of filing cabinet you need. Take into account the fact that a larger filing cabinet is likely to have more drawers and those drawers will tend to be deeper and thus have greater storage capacity.
There are several types of filing cabinets, each with specific features and uses.
- Vertical: The most common type which usually has three or four drawers that are held within a vertical cabinet. These can hold standard-sized documents and files, often sorted using tabbed document wallets.
- Lateral: These are suitable for larger spaces as they are wide and have lots of storage capacity. They are ideal for storing larger documents, technical drawings, and folders. These are sometimes attached to a wall for stability.
- Mobile: These are small filing cabinets that have wheels or castors fitted to each corner of their base allowing them to be easily moved from one location to another within the office. They are lightweight and relatively inexpensive compared to other types of filing cabinets.
- Open Shelf: There may be some debate as to whether these should be called filing cabinets or just shelves. However, they can store files and they are a cabinet, so we will go with the former. They have no drawers and are used for storing document boxes and large ring binder folders with easy access.
- Flat: These are less common than the others given that they have fewer uses. They have drawers, however, they are thin which means there can be more of them, but with less storage capacity in each drawer. Often used in architect’s offices, and for artwork or maps.
The main two materials you can expect filing cabinets to be made from are metal and wood. Metal is the more common due to its durability and lower cost. Wooden filing cabinets offer more in terms of aesthetics and perceived quality.
Lastly, we come to the unavoidable fact that filing cabinets cost money. Only you will know what budget you have for office furniture and filing cabinets in particular, however, a good rule of thumb is to purchase the filing cabinet that best suits your office’s needs, rather than your P&L sheet.