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Construction sites are hectic places, no doubt about it. From site preparation, clear up to handing over the keys to the owner, the jobsite looks and feels like organized chaos. Hopefully organized, anyway.

Let's face it. There are a lot of trades and crafts operating in one area. It's easy to trip over everybody and their gear. And depending on the weather, there may not be a good place to set up shop outdoors, particularly an office space.

The same goes for other venues as well. While you may have a home office in a brick and mortar building, there are many times having an onsite mobile office just makes sense.

Some of the types of businesses and events that might need a mobile on-site office are:

  • General contractors for the construction industry
  • Trades and crafts such as electrical contractors, plumbing contractors, and security installation experts
  • Emergency services that need a quick, sturdy command center
  • Temporary celebration and entertainment events, such as carnivals, town celebrations, and music festivals.

The mobile office isn't just a luxury—it's usually a necessity. So much so that some companies will have one (or more) in their equipment inventory. But it often makes better sense to rent one when the need arises. A large project may not come around that often. But when it does, a portable office placed on site might be the best option.

So what are the factors to ponder when deciding on whether a mobile office is for you?

One consideration: length of time the onsite office is needed

The longer the project, the more important an onsite portable office becomes. If you're in and out in a day or two, there is likely no need to rent a mobile office at all. There may be other ways you can stay organized and save the rental fees.

Even renting an onsite mobile office for just a week may not be needed, as long as other considerations are met.

Once you've determined the length of your project makes a mobile office necessary, there are Other considerations to take into account when renting a mobile office: 

  • If onsite security isn't an issue, try another option. However, if you're keeping valuable equipment or sensitive documentation in the office, consider a vandal-resistant mobile office.
  • If inclement weather conditions are not expected, you may get by with a tent or other similar options.
  • Multi-use: you will be sharing the office space with another trade.

Most sturdy mobile office rentals require at least a month's term to make it worthwhile for both the rental company and the business renting the unit. So the best advice for considering a temporary mobile office, such as a cargo container office conversion, is to ensure the money spent on a rental is worth the stay. But there may be good reasons to rent for a shorter time, including some mentioned above.

Security in An onsite mobile office

There are several reasons to rent an onsite mobile office. And the reasons won't only dictate the need for a mobile office, but also the type of on-site office you'll rent.

Let's look at the three examples already given above for deciding on mobile office rentals.

Security is often the number one concern for any office renter. Even brick and mortar renters will opt for the more secure office space. On-premises guards often make office rental more attractive.

When a mobile office is used on a construction site, the presence of a security team isn't always a given. And even if they are available, it's hard to keep an eagle eye on every area all the time. So ensuring your construction site office is secure may fall squarely on your shoulders. Three secure alternatives are:

  • Mobile home style offices
  • Modified semi-trailer offices
  • Modified cargo container storage boxes

Of the three, the modified cargo container is the most vandal-resistant choice because of its steel construction. While the other two can be broken into fairly easily, it's going to take a blow torch or other powered cutting tool to penetrate its "armored" skin. Now let's consider the second factor: inclement weather.

Bad weather? Which Storage Option is best for wind, rain, or storms?

The only time you want to shake, rattle, and roll is during a rock concert, right?

A mobile home as a jobsite office can give you the jitters, literally. If you've lived in a trailer house or used a camping trailer and encountered severe weather, you understand. Of course, tie-downs should be installed on this type of mobile office. But even then, the potential for tipping over is still there.

What about the modified trailer office?

Think about this for a minute. You've seen tractor-trailer rigs barreling down the highway with side fairings, a form of wind deflector. They reduce drag on the underside of the trailer, improving aerodynamics. The large open area under a trailer is a wind catcher.

If high winds hit the job site, that kind of mobile office could take off and run away on you. Of course, it might take a pretty high wind or gale to do that. But it's always a possibility.

The cargo container turned mobile office is likely the safest choice as far as bad weather is concerned. There are several reasons:

  • It sits right on the ground so that wind will not easily lift it from the underside.
  • It's heavier by the square foot than the other options
  • The cargo container itself was designed to resist wind, water, and other inclement conditions.
  • The heavy steel construction makes it resistant to debris hurled around by turbulence.

All things equal, the modified cargo container mobile office looks to be the strongest. That brings us to the third and final consideration: multiple uses in the same jobsite office.

Multi-use mobile offices for the jobsite

To get the most bang for your buck, you might want to use your mobile office for more than one purpose. For example, you might want two or more offices for the different trades involved in the construction project. Some onsite mobile office rentals are more suited for that than others.

Most mobile homes, re-styled as temporary offices, work for multipurpose offices. They're already divided into rooms, just like a trailer house, and can accommodate a number of office types.

Trailer style and cargo container box mobile offices can also be modified to handle an extra office or two. Cargo containers, for example, can have divider walls, with or without personnel doors. Most also have an outside entry door on one or both sides of the box. Additionally, with swingout cargo doors on the ends, you have the option to use a portion of the unit as equipment or parts storage, a break room, or even a staging area.

Semi-trailer mobile offices can also be divided in various ways. However, there is one caveat: egress to the trailer requires stairs installed, with railings (OSHA regs). Container offices don't need them as they sit right on the ground or parking surface.

There's just one more factor you should consider when choosing the right construction site (or other venue) mobile office: mobility.

Do you Actually need the office to be mobile? 

Most of the time, your onsite mobile office will stay where it's placed. But when it doesn't, a cargo container is your best bet. Because they use ISO standards, they're easy to move around to a different area with the right equipment.

If renting a mobile office is going to be a necessity for your next project, contact SiteBox Storage. We'll help you get the best onsite mobile office to fill your needs.