With the growth of telecommuting and non-traditional work schedules, businesses are creating productive atmospheres with the inventive cubicle solutions that are available today. You don’t have to rent the perfect office space to make everything fit; just design the space around the needs and style of your workforce.
There was a time when privacy and quiet were thought to be the key to helping employees get their work done, which spawned the idea of panel systems with cantilevered desks and shelves in the 1960s. As more panels and narrow hallways turned office spaces into “cubicle farms,” cubicles became the butt of office jokes. Think Dilbert.
The backlash resulted in businesses opting for creative open-office designs that would foster more collaboration among coworkers. In fact, it seems that wall-less designs with more light and open-seating arrangements inspire employees and make them more creative. Some companies are even sought out by job applicants just because of their innovative office designs. For example:
- Google Zurich – Their space was designed with cubicles that resemble ski-lift gondolas and egg-shaped domes that are individually decorated and serve as small conference rooms. There are areas for employees to sing, dance and get massages, a room lined with aquariums, a workout room, a movie room, a giant slide that delivers employees to the lunchroom, and firehouse poles to go from one level to another.
- BICOM Communications – The cubicles in this Canadian office actually look like small cottages, strewn haphazardly around “public squares” to emulate an offbeat village. Each has its own décor, with some walls covered in fake grass or wood paneling.
- The Baya Company – Large woven wooden pods that resemble birds’ nests (Baya is a bird’s name) are some of the interesting designs created for this Mumbai company’s sales office. They’re used for meeting space. Along with high ceilings and back-painted glass walls, they provide a lot of daylight, giving the space an almost theatrical look.
- AirBnB Dublin – The European headquarters of this company that rents vacation properties around the world uses and open space design with individual pods that have windows on two sides and alcoves that resemble window seats. Long wooden benches running throughout lend themselves to employee collaboration. The reception area even mimics an Irish pub, complete with a horseshoe-shaped bar.
- Square – This San Francisco company that makes credit card readers for your iPhone or iPad designed a space with square glass-walled conference rooms, long tables and open, padded cubes. The space is bright and airy thanks to the tall ceilings and big windows. Employees enjoy a coffee bar and tables where they can work standing up.
Many businesses today are designing workstation cubicle solutions that are not only practical, but beautiful.
They are bringing personality into the workspace with stylish, spacious and well laid-out cubicles, collapsible workstations that can be moved with a crank along tracks to expand or contract the workspace as needed, and are even transforming prefabricated shipping containers into offices.
These workstation innovations can make all the difference when it comes to office productivity.