Cubicles add more function and design to an office environment. It provides employees with some privacy while still allowing them to see the rest of their co-workers and collaborate and interact with them with minimal effort. The arrangement of cubicles does not have to be in a row as stiff as a line of army lockers. Today’s cubicles combine efficient design, form and color with self-contained storage spaces to give it the look and feel of a small office. When you are tasked to help design a cubicle layout floor plan, below are some tips that can help.
- Make a physical inventory of the whole office where the cubicles will be placed. Make a note of where the overhead lighting, the power outlets, doors and windows are located.
- Decide if you are going to use the existing desks or you will be replacing them with smaller desks that will fit the cubicles better. There are various cubicle designs to fit almost every office need. Some cubicles come with overhead cabinets as well as suggested tables and chairs to complete the set. These desks are usually ready for the electrical, computer and phone wires that each work station needs.
- Note how the cubicles will be placed in the office area and who will be using them. Are there employees who need to be close to each other as they are part of a team? Will they be willing to share a big work station instead of having their own cubicle? Decide where the shared printer, fax machines and copier will be placed.
- If you do not have an office planning software draw a rough sketch of the entire floor space and mark the places for the cubicles. Allow about sixty inches for the main aisles where there will be plenty of human traffic. Allocate a smaller space for those staff members who spend most of their time out of the office like the sales people. Bigger cubicles can be given to those employees who spend most of their time inside the office. There should also be about forty-four to forty-eight inches of space between a cubicle partition and a fixed wall. This is an ADA requirement.
- Make sure that the main aisles provide easy access to office doors and exits and will not block windows and thermostats. Determine also the right height of the cubicles that is suitable for the majority of your staff.
- Collect several cubicle designs that you think will serve your purpose. Choose colors and designs that will blend well with your office interior and at the same time will provide each member of your staff with a great working environment. Take note that some of these cubicles have a combination of different materials when constructed. Some employees like to tack some personal photos on cubicle walls and they will appreciate it if they can do the same on a cubicle wall without damaging its covering.
- Compare the dimensions of the different types of cubicles or work stations. There are designs that are space savers while some can be expanded depending on the requirement of the user. Knowing the sizes of the cubicles will help you in maximizing the use of floor space on the layout of your floor plan.
- Provide a common place with some sofas and other seating arrangements where employees can informally gather and relieve the feeling of being isolated from each other due to being enclosed in a cubicle. This can be used as a mini-conference area when there is a need to meet with all the staff in your department.
Visit office furniture showrooms and take your drawing with you. Allow
them to show you the different styles of cubicles that will fit your
layout. You should also ask them for suggestions on what will be a good
layout that will be conducive to working and efficient employee movement
around the office space. Benefit from their expertise and provide your
staff members with a neat, slick and modern work station.