Creating a quality work environment takes a great deal of preparation. Successful cubicle space planning encourages collaboration, increases productivity, and sets the tone for a professional environment.
As you may imagine, inefficient cubicle planning can rob your company of precious time and money. Careless and haphazard cubicle planning drains valuable company resources by creating additional work for employees, contributing to ineffective organization and preventing vital employee communication.
Additionally, getting the most out of your current office space (or creating a new one from scratch) spans many complicated issues, including meeting required building codes, calculating occupancy costs, orderly spatial layouts, and determining environmental impact.
Learn how to avoid common pitfalls when planning your office space by considering the questions below.
1.) Does your current design account for maximum efficiency?
Cubicle layouts come in a variety of shapes and sizes, depending on current trends, personnel needs, and budget. Some options to consider are:
- Cluster Workstations
- The Look: Cluster workstations “meet in the middle” so to speak. The desks are usually organized in a 360 degree layout (like a circle) and all employees are organized around a central point. A perfect example of modern cluster workstations are seen in Tayco’s Up product line.
- Why They’re Popular: As a relatively inexpensive setup, cluster workstations can significantly boost productivity due to the ease of communication. If all members are working on the same project, a circular-like layout limits distractions while increasing collaboration.
- Potential Drawbacks: If teams are project-based or your company shifts or changes with frequency, a cluster workstation may not facilitate as much communication as other layouts.
- Modular Workstations
- The Look: Modular workstations define the “classic” office layout by using panels and furniture to designate individual work space. Tayco’s V.E.S. product line provides a wide selection of cubicle options to create the perfect work environment for every employee.
- Why They’re Popular: Modular workstations provide both flexibility (e.g. changing and adapting panels to create bigger or smaller workstations) and employee privacy. Modular workstations can be created with a user’s needs in mind, so employees have enough space (and storage) to perform any task.
- Possible Drawbacks: Partitions used in modular workstations may prevent ease of communication and add steps for employees to seek out needed information.
- Is your current/desired cubicle design adaptable?
Scaling for potential growth is one of the most important aspects of cubicle design. Failure to accommodate for increases and decreases in employee headcount contributes to either overcrowding or the under-utilization of important space. Ask yourself if you have the appropriate work environment for managers (do they have their own offices or private space to address employee performance?) or employees (are more or less individual cubicles needed?).
Effective cubicle design should not only plan for individual work spaces, but it should also enhance company-wide productivity. This includes taking into account different uses of space that are needed, such as meeting places (large and small conference rooms), places to brainstorm (complete with whiteboards and other effective collaborative tools), and employee support spaces (lounges/kitchens/game rooms, print and copy area).
- Does your current cubicle design convey your company aesthetic?
Cubicles don’t have to be cold and impersonal, and sometimes companies prefer office furniture or workstations over cubicles. Finding the right fit is what is important. In fact, it is likely that your employees spend almost as much time in their cubicles and workstations as they do at home. Studies show that when employees enjoy their work environment, they tend to be more productive.
Similarly, a cubicle or office space design that doesn’t convey your business objectives sends mixed messages to important visitors and clients. Dated, worn-out looks lack the professionalism needed to stay competitive in the marketplace.
- Traditional aesthetics (think mahogany or cherry furniture) convey a classic business tone suitable for an executive’s office, impressive reception area or boardroom. We proudly work with Carrico Office Furniture to deliver quality furniture with fine craftsmanship. These lines are considered office furniture.
- Contemporary aesthetics update your space to provide a light, airy feel. The Genoa Workstation illustrates simplistic styling with clean lines that integrate well into any office environment. This Lufton Workstation uses a neutral tone with a red backdrop, providing a depth and warmth to your office environment with plenty of storage available. Both of these lines are considered office furniture. Don’t forget to customize your interior with a selection of textiles and finishes.
- Modern aesthetics blend classic style with sophisticated taste that distinguishes your office from the rest. The Scene system has an urban style feel with spectacular functionality. It’s a perfect design for both private offices, and open floor settings. This line is also economical, so you will save money on a beautiful layout. Or you can choose the popular V.E.S. system that allows for a wide palette of customization colors and laminate choices. Both of these lines are cubicle systems.
- Does your cubicle design motivate your employees to do their best?
Your cubicle design should strike a delicate balance of both privacy and interaction. In evaluating the acoustics in your cubicle design, you’ll need to consider whether or not it provides the right noise level and privacy for your employees. For example, employees in a call center environment will spend most of their day on the phone, so sound transmission (and limiting background noise) becomes extremely important to encourage focusing on the customer.
Visual privacy is also a concern, especially if your employees interact regularly with sensitive data. To prevent unauthorized people from accessing certain information on computer screens, cubicles should provide a reasonable amount of privacy to keep workers fully focused on their tasks.
One aspect of cubicle planning that is often overlooked is considering adjustable furniture. Furniture that is customizable to an employee’s size allows them to feel comfortable at their workstation–allowing them to perform their best. Although people generally only think of ergonomic chairs, there has been a surge of popularity in other areas, such as stand up desks (allowing employees to stretch occasionally).
- Does your cubicle design come in under budget?
With the variety of options available, it is important that your cubicle design not only accommodate your employees–but fits within your budget. Your cubicle design cost depends on many factors, including cubicle size, any electrical considerations, laminates and finishes, storage needs, and additional options.
It is also important to factor in the life cycle of your cubicle design. Consider manufacturer’s warranties and servicing dealers that keep your cubicles functional and maintained.
Who knew there was so much to consider when picking out cubicles! Well, we did, but know you do too. We’d be happy to help you evaluate office solutions that fit your needs. Contact us today for a free estimate or free space plan!