The Shift From Cubicles to Open Workstations

Office culture is changing.  And leading that change is the shift from bland cubicles to bold new open workstation designs.  Designs are becoming more minimalist, individual spaces more compact, and shared spaces—such as open work space tables and work lounges—are taking up more space.  The idea of interoffice collaboration and connectivity is growing more important.  The trend is to more shared open space, less individual pre-defined, blocked cubicle workstations.

Workspaces Redesigned:  The Link to Mobility

The growth of the mobile workforce is leading this change.  In North America, well over 75% of the mobile corporate workforce is mobile. By 2015, over 1.3 billion workers will join the mobile workforce.  With most employees having more than one connected device like a smartphone or tablet on them, it’s easy to work on the road or in remote offices.  When employees are physically located at a corporate office, they can’t be stuffed away in non-descript high-walled cubicles.  The focus is on openness, interaction with colleagues, and collaboration.

Workstation Value

Companies are aggressively, yet intelligently leading the way with new ideas in workstations.  Companies like Google and other technology firms come to mind.  Open floor plans drive innovation, sustainability and value.  Value is key.  Large, complex cubicle systems for each employee can be a waste—how much of that space is actually utilized on a daily basis?

By lowering cubicle heights, reducing the traditional cubicle footprint, and making the individual space more visually transparent – while adding common areas pieces such as shared tables, lounges, and even standing areas – companies are cutting costs and increasing productivity.  Smaller group or individual workstations are also becoming more popular.  It’s hard to get more value out of an elevated 4 sq. ft table than a standing group space.

Trends toward “Openness”

Companies prefer open workstations.  That is the clear trend.  But beyond open workstations (yes, employees still need workstations), the trend is towards open gathering spaces – spaces where employees can discuss the latest project or new deal in a space that’s located between a separate meeting room and their individual workspace.  Small teams can meet and openly discuss projects, rather than retreat to a confined meeting room or linger outside cubicles.

Larger teams or even a number of individuals working in the same space can reside in work lounges.  No, these lounges are not for checking personal social media sites – but for fostering moderate, yet energetic conversation about work-related topics.

Bottom Line:  Companies are Moving from Cubicles to “Workstations”

The trend is clear: some of the most innovative and profitable companies have moved from strict, defined individual cubicles to more open personal and shared workstations that promote the exchange of ideas, rapid communication, and meaningful project-based collaboration.  Interested in transforming your office?  Contact Desk Incorporated today at 303-777-7778 to find a solution for your office needs.