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How to Setup a Temporary Workspace

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Setting up a temporary workspace gives you a private and convenient work environment wherever you need it. Office renovations and remodeling can disrupt employees’ workflows, creating high noise levels and unsafe environments around the construction area. A ground-level temporary workspace can improve productivity while workers wait for more permanent structures to be constructed.

Shipping container offices are incredibly easy to set up. Unlike traditional offices, which can take weeks or even months to construct, shipping container offices can be delivered and installed in a matter of days. This means that business can continue as usual without disruptions to their workflow. In this post, we’ll look at how to set up a temporary workspace for your office without unnecessary building additions.

Setting Up a Temporary Workspace in 5 Steps

Step 1: Choosing Your Temporary Workspace Size

Southwest Mobile Storage offers a variety of sizes for temporary workspaces, from as short as 10 feet long to as large as 40 feet long. We also have more sizes available, so if you don’t see your preferred size, contact us and we can inform you of specific product availability.

The following are the most common sizes we have in stock:

  • 10ft x 8ft x 8ft 6in (680 ft.3)
  • 15ft x 8ft x 8ft 6in (1,020 ft.3)
  • 20ft x 8ft x 8ft 6in (1,360 ft.3)
  • 40ft x 8ft x 8ft 6in (2,720 ft.3)

These are the sizes of combination office/storage containers we offer. 20ft combos are split in half with a wooden partition, and 40ft combos use 25 feet for storage and the remaining 15 feet for office space.

  • 20ft x 8ft x 8ft 6in (1,360 ft.3)
  • 40ft x 8ft x 8ft 6in (2,720 ft.3)

Larger temporary office workspaces have enough room for two separate offices and a large meeting area for group collaboration or client meetings.

A temporary workspace container resting on the ground. It has bright blue borders, two barred windows and a door in the center.
Temporary workspaces at SMS can be identified by their vibrant blue side rails and corner posts. The interior of temporary workspaces is outfitted with overhead lighting, epoxy flooring and wood panel wallpaper. HVAC units may either be window units (shown here) or wall mounted.

Step 2: Choose Your Location

As a general concept, temporary workspaces can be located anywhere. However, there can be some challenges depending on the location you choose. Temporary workspaces must be located on level ground to ensure that the frame of the workspace is well-supported.

There are a few important things to remember when choosing a location for your workspace:

  • Ensure the area is big enough for the temporary office.
  • Make sure that the temporary office is near an electrical hookup so that you can operate the office (lights, HVAC, Internet/Wi-Fi, etc.)

Check out our storage container drop-off blog to plan for your container placement.

Step 3: Choose Your Timeframe

Temporary workspaces are just that – temporary – but temporary could mean anywhere from two months to a year or longer. The length of time that you’ll need your temporary workspace will be based on what you think will be an adequate amount of time. You might want to use a temporary workspace to provide short-term workspace in the case of office moves or remodels.

After the first two 28-day billing cycles, we prorate your billing, meaning you’ll only pay for the days you use the temporary workspace. Your rental term will end the day after you request container pickup.

Step 4: Choose Your Temporary Workspace Add-Ons

You’ve chosen your temporary workspace, you know the location where it will go, and you know the time frame you’ll be using it for. Now it’s time to consider if you want to add anything to the workspace to customize it for your use.

Mobile office containers can be customized with additional doors, windows, HVAC units, shelving, desks, storage, etc. Our portable office rentals come with security windows and doors for added protection. We also offer accessories like planning desktops, filing cabinets and shelving so you can create the perfect office environment for you.

Step 5: Organizing Your Temporary Workspace

Organization is key when it comes to setting up a temporary workspace. Consequently, a cluttered and disorganized workspace can be distracting and reduce productivity. To keep things organized, it’s important to start with a clean and tidy workspace and to only keep essential items on the desk. Think about the materials your team needs to complete their work and ensure they won’t have to move around to access things they need daily.

Use storage solutions like file organizers, trays and shelves to keep paperwork and other items off the desk and in their proper place. Digital organization is also important, so keep files and documents neatly organized on your computer or in the cloud.

Establishing a weekly or monthly routine for cleaning and organizing the workspace can also help ensure it stays clutter-free. Keeping your temporary workspace organized can reduce stress and increase productivity.

Temporary workspaces commonly have HVAC units attached, so they can cool the space inside.
Temporary workspaces commonly have HVAC units attached, like this wall-mounted unit, that cool the space inside and ensure comfortable working conditions.


Setting up a temporary workspace can provide employees with a private and convenient work environment during office renovations or as a permanent solution for remote work. Shipping containers can be an excellent option for a temporary workspace, as they are portable and can be customized with various add-ons. When choosing a location, it is essential to ensure enough space for the temporary office and close access to electrical hookups. A clean and organized workspace is essential for productivity and storage solutions, and you can use add-ons to keep important items easily accessible.

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Let’s discuss the possibilities! Request a quote now and tell us a little about your needs. We’ll research our best available options and contact you with pricing and availability options. From basic container rentals to full customizations, we have your back. If you can dream it, we can do it!

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