Do you know about the case of the “amazing shrinking cubicles?” Metairie and other Louisiana office workers who have been around for a while may remember what workstations looked like back in the 1970s. Back then, the typical cubicle was a spacious 12’ x 12’. Twenty years later, it was diminished to 10’ x 10’. Today, a 6’ x 8’ is considered normal. According to Haworth, a leading office furniture manufacturer, we could be looking at another 20% cut in workstation size in the future. Will these new cubicles be just big enough to stand up in? Will employees feel like clowns stuffed in a phone booth?
To understand why cubicle shrinkage isn’t always a bad thing, it’s important to understand why and how it is happening. First, you need to take a look at office technology. The amount of space taken up by a flat screen computer monitor today is a fraction of the space required for a boxy CRT monitor. Plus, there’s a lot less need for paper filing space within individual work areas since so much documentation is stored electronically. This means workers can have a smaller workstation while enjoying the same amount of usable worksurface.
Next, you can consider how space is being redistributed. There’s a growing trend toward providing workers with greater flexibility in the office environment. More collaborative spaces are being added for teamwork and employees can choose to spend less time in their cubicle while still getting work done. Since more and more workers are mobile, many only need a small workspace to touch down when they visit the office. They aren’t going to feel claustrophobic by being cooped up in a tiny space because they don’t spend 8 hours a day there.
Top Picks for Small Workstations
As promised, here are a few of the nicest cubicles that can be configured at a 6’x 8’ size or smaller:
Premise by Haworth – Highlights: modular, open at the bottom for good airflow, lots of transparent and translucent materials, white canopies that reflect light down into the workspace
Avenir by Steelcase – Highlights: freestanding or panel-supported, open pore wood veneers, privacy screens and lateral files, top pick of Fortune 500 companies
Ethospace by Herman Miller – Highlights: 90, 120, and 135 degree planning options, huge selection of tile materials, power and data cabling can be added every 8” mark
Do you need to source space-conscious cubicles? Metairie and New Orleans businesses can rely on The Office Planning Group to assemble all the best choices.