Businesses planning to invest in new office cubicles should know exactly what they need and the “look” they are striving for. If they simply need to fill up a large room with individual cubicles so their employees can carry out their work, their choices may be made easier. Other businesses may be concerned with both employee productivity and an attractive appearance for their large office space. If these businesses frequently invite customers or the public into their setting, well-made office cubicles are a necessity.
Brief History of Office Cubicles
Designer Robert Propst created the first office cubicle for the Herman Miller company back in the 1960s. This new office concept, called the Action Office, didn't quite take off, but the idea didn't die. Instead, it came back in the 1980s and 1990s.
This first open-office cubicle concept was intended to give employees the privacy they needed as they worked on their assignments and projects. These workers also had a higher degree of autonomy than they had when their desks were sitting out “in the open,” in a large workspace. While the office cubicle wasn't initially embraced, the first employees to use them must have felt an increase in their level of privacy and ability to produce their assigned work.
What Business Owners See
In just a few short words, they see convenience, the ability to add more employees to a limited space and a cost savings. When a company owner knows they are going to be hiring a large number of new employees, they don't want to commit themselves to the considerable expense of constructing a new office for each new employee. They know that, eventually, the country's economy is going to contract, they are going to lay off employees and those offices are going to be standing empty.
Instead, buying new cubicles enables them to expand with a specific number of office “spaces” when they hire a new group of employees. When they have to let employees go, it's relatively easy for the company to break down and remove the now-empty cubicles and store them until it is able to expand and hire new employees again. As the company brings new workers on board, it can bring out the stored cubicles, reassemble them and expand office space as needed.
With this cubicle configuration, the outer cubicle walls are solid from the floor to the top of the cubicle. The wall is covered with a tough fabric and may have a clear glass topper, allowing the employee to see out (and others to see inside).
Businesses can choose the features they need, such as electrical outlets and storage areas, either up high or below the desk surface.
With segmented cubicles, business owners and managers will have cubicles made of tile frames. Each tile may be a different or complementary color or they may all be the same color. Again, the topper may be made of glass.
As with the monolithic cubicles, companies can choose the features they want so each cubicle is equipped to order.
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