If your employees need to collaborate but are stuck in full-height cubicles all day, they may be discouraged from doing their best work. A benching office design may be the ideal solution for turning your office into a welcoming, productive environment.
Think customer service representatives, school administrative offices, and teams of architects, designers, engineers, marketers, and software developers for whom collaboration is crucial. High walls and panels can create communication obstacles and stifle conversation and fresh ideas.
With little or no paneling to divide up work areas, benching systems allow you to accommodate more people in less space using bench-like desks and tables with individual lamps, computers, and chairs. They can be set up every 5 to 10 feet, enabling employees to spread out comfortably and collaborate.
Implementing a benching system doesn’t mean you have to completely take away their privacy. Employees still need personal space, and many businesses incorporate designated rooms where individuals can step away for personal phone calls, lounge areas that accommodate spur-of-the-moment meetings, and private rooms where employees can focus on heads-down tasks without noise and interruptions.
If you are interested in making benching work for you, we encourage you to review the online catalogs of companies like EthoSource in Morgantown, PA. They specialize in high-quality new and used benching systems and can supply you with a wide range of design ideas.
Benefits of Benching Office Design
- Better light. Few of us are lucky enough to snag an office window, so natural light is a desirable commodity when we have to be cooped up inside all day. With lower (or no) walls, more natural light can fill and brighten the space. Studies show that well-lit environments promote health and happiness, reduce eyestrain, increase productivity and may even decrease absenteeism.
- Lower costs. Benching office designs enable you to accommodate more people in less space, decreasing your real estate costs per square foot compared with traditional panel-based cubicles.
- Shared resources. Benching systems promote the shared use of resources, such as printers, copiers and fax machines. They are also great for employees who are frequently out of the office and don’t need a permanent seat. Give them somewhere to touch down and plug in without holding open empty cubicles.
- Greater flexibility. Many benching systems are modular and, with little or no expense, can be easily moved, modified and reconfigured as your work needs change.
- Esprit de corps. According to recent studies, workers who can see each other while working are 15% more productive than their isolated cubicle pals. Benching workstations allow them to move around, interact with coworkers, brainstorm, and learn from each other.
Benching options come in in multiple layouts and sizes. There are straight styles, and those that can be configured in an L or U shape. Some seat two people and others seat more than eight. Dividers can be higher to allow for more privacy and less noise, or virtually non-existent for employees who work together for the majority of their time.
Open offices are here to stay. Consider a benching office design to maximize your use of space and spark some conversation, collaboration and innovation.