What are the Different Types of Office Shelving?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 19 January 2020
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There are quite a few different types of office shelving, and the type an office manager chooses usually reflects his or her own personal style and the purpose of such shelving. One of the most common types of shelving consists of bookcases and similar framed shelving constructed as a single unit. There is also freestanding shelving that can be created outside of a frame, which allows for greater customization for shelving sizes. Some office shelving can also be fairly small in nature and located in a specific area, such as desktop shelving.

Office shelving typically refers to pieces of wood or metal placed horizontally and supported in a number of different ways. These shelves can be used for a variety of purposes, though they are often intended for holding books, binders and notebooks, and office supplies. There are a number of different types of office shelving that can be constructed from a variety of materials, including wood, metal, glass, and plastic.


One of the most common types of office shelving is an enclosed or framed form of shelving, such as a bookcase. This type of shelving consists of horizontal shelves that are limited in size by the external frame that surrounds the shelves. Bookshelves are often designed with this type of frame, which provides greater support through the frame, without requiring supports that may obstruct book placement. There are also forms of office shelving that utilize a frame with vertical supports throughout the shelves as well, which are often used in warehouses or for holding heavy office supplies.

Open office shelving that is made without a frame is also a popular choice for bookshelves and other purposes. These types of shelves consist of horizontal planks or shelves that are supported by brackets, typically mounted directly into a wall. This sort of shelving is often more customizable, since the placement and number of shelves can be altered based on the supports used. As long as the brackets are mounted properly into a wall, this shelving is just as strong as framed shelving.

Smaller shelving can also be used in an office, and this type of shelving is typically located within a specific area. Office shelving that can be placed on top of a desk, for example, is quite commonly used for paperwork baskets on a desk or to create an organized area for pens and other commonly used supplies. This smaller shelving can also be used on top of mobile carts, for office supplies or mail, and to create discrete sections or compartments in a centralized area for use by individual office employees.


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