Work cubicles are designed to help maximize space and minimize inefficiency, but they also serve a larger purpose in helping you reach your business goals. When selecting cubicles for your office, here are some things to consider.
1. Budget Talk
Cubicles come at a variety of price points. While more expensive models may come with additional features, others offer a more basic setup. The first step to consider is what percentage of your furniture budget can be designated for cubicles: how much are you prepared to spend?
Keep in mind that well-designed work cubicles are not just an immediate expense, but also a long-term investment. And while upfront costs may seem prohibitive, the right cubicles pay for themselves over time in productivity — particularly if you select cubicles with optimal functionality for the particular needs of your workforce.
2. Layout Matters
Buying work cubicles before you consider space planning and design is like grabbing a handful of puzzle pieces with no idea of whether they fit together. Basic considerations include how the space will be used and by how many people. Measure your office space and compare to the dimensions of prospective cubicles to determine which ones will work within your space constraints. Because cubicles can range from as small as 3 feet square to as large as 8 feet square, understanding what you have to work with can help you make smart space decisions.
It's also necessary to consider aesthetics: is there an ideal balance between office furniture and open space? While your instinct may be to pack as many workers as you can into one area, the truth is that you reach a point of diminishing returns: lack of personal space — either due to squashed conditions or low cubicle walls — can lead to low employee morale and high turnover rates.
It's a balancing act, of course: too much open space and you risk creating a disruptive atmosphere.
3. What's Your Function?
Knowing how you'll use your cubicles is an essential part of choosing the right ones. Is your office short on storage? If so, cubicles with built-in storage space offer a valuable solution while also keeping essential paperwork immediately available to employees at any given moment.
Many contemporary offices are increasingly seeking out cubicles with innate task lighting. Overhead lighting can be harsh and lead to health concerns, including migraines and eye strain. Natural lighting, however, is not always possible. Built-in cubicle lighting offers a mindful solution.
Another way to help your workers stay on task? Built-in whiteboards. Rather than notes scribbled on Post-its and scattered throughout the office, workers can use whiteboards to brainstorm and keep all ideas and tasks in one visible, central location.
As technology continues to advance, so do workers' needs along with the capacity of cubicles to meet them. Make sure cubicles are outfitted with all necessary technological features, such as outlets and data ports. Some cubicles even come with electrical panels which can be directly wired to the building's power supply for the ultimate in connectivity.
4. Culture Counts
One easy-to-miss planning element with lasting impact? Corporate culture. Is your goal to create an environment of collaboration, interaction and teamwork, or of privacy and individually focused tasks? Your management team should work together to determine how choosing the right cubicles can be part of your comprehensive corporate culture strategies.
While your business's bottom line may be the ultimate goal when choosing cubicles, functional and fulfilled employees are an intrinsic part of that equation. As they're the ones sitting in the space for eight or more hours every day, the best decisions are guided by their needs.
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