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Ufficio furniture- office cubicles buyer’s guide

Updated: Jul 16


A clean, pre-owned office cubicle featuring a sturdy desk, ergonomic chair, and built-in storage cabinets, showcasing its potential for creating an efficient and organized workspace.
Ufficio furniture- office cubicles buyer’s guide


What is a Cubicle?

A cubicle is an office furniture piece consisting of multiple panels that form a small, individual workstation. Cubicles create a more efficient workplace by grouping workers together, facilitating collaboration and providing privacy. Introduced in the late 1960s, cubicles were part of the modern office design of that era. While there are pros and cons to using cubicles instead of other office layouts and furniture, they remain a staple in many workplaces today.


Why Choose Cubicles?

Cubicles are popular in offices for several reasons:

-Cost-Effectiveness: They are generally more affordable than other types of office furniture.

-Flexibility: Cubicles can be reconfigured easily, making them ideal for businesses that are growing or constantly changing.

- Privacy: They provide individual workspaces that can increase employee productivity.


History of the Cubicle

The cubicle was invented in 1964 by Robert Propst while working for the Herman Miller Furniture Company. Propst aimed to improve the open-bullpen office space with the “Action Office,” featuring adjustable desks, space for phones, a vertical filing system, and partitions for privacy. Despite the innovative design, the initial cubicle concept flopped due to its size and cost. However, through the 1970s and 1980s, the idea evolved into the more compact and affordable cubicles we see today.


**Freestanding vs. Panel-mounted Cubicles**

- **Freestanding Cubicles:** Not attached to any walls, these cubicles use separate panels around individual workstations. They are more flexible but generally less expensive.

- **Panel-mounted Cubicles:** These are connected to one or more walls, integrating desks, filing cabinets, and other components into the panels. While more expensive, they offer a more integrated look.


Types of Cubicles

- **Open Cubicles:** Encourage collaboration with low walls, providing flexibility but less privacy.

- **High-Wall Cubicles:** Offer privacy and noise reduction, ideal for focused work but less suited for collaboration.

- **Low-Wall Cubicles:** A middle ground, offering some privacy while maintaining sight lines.

- **Circular Cubicles:** Modern and stylish, promoting collaboration but offering minimal privacy and space efficiency.

- **L-Shaped Cubicles:** Maximize space and efficiency, providing privacy and noise reduction.

- **Professional/Standard Cubicles:** Customizable and available in various sizes, offering privacy and noise reduction.

- **Call Center Cubicles:** Taller for more privacy, with built-in shelves and headset hangers.

- **Modular Cubicles:** Highly flexible for custom configurations, ideal for growing businesses.


**Common Cubicle Layouts**

- **Bullpen:** Open floor setup with no partitions, facilitating easy communication but potentially distracting.

- **Cluster:** Groups employees into teams or departments, promoting collaboration but potentially noisy.

- **Straight Run:** Traditional grid layout, cost-effective but less visually appealing.

- **3-Person Workstation:** Allows easy collaboration within small teams.

- **Standing Desk:** Height-adjustable, promoting a healthier work environment.

- **Private Office/Enclosed:** Offers the most privacy and noise reduction but is the most expensive and space-consuming.


**Cubicles and Office Design**

As office environments evolve, so does cubicle design. While open office layouts have been popular, studies show they can decrease communication. Cubicles can offer a balance between individual focus and team collaboration. When designing an office, consider how cubicles fit into the overall design goals, including factors like sizing, accessories, power options, storage capacity, maintenance needs, and delivery and installation lead times.


**Cubicle Sizing**

Common sizes include 6′ x 6′, 6′ x 7′, 6′ x 8′, 7′ x 7′, and 8′ x 8′. Choose based on available space and the number of employees.


**Helpful Cubicle Accessories**

Consider adding partitions, overhead bins, shelves, monitor arms, CPU holders, and keyboard trays to enhance organization and ergonomics.


**Cubicle Doors**

For higher privacy and noise reduction, cubicles with doors can be a practical option, especially for roles requiring significant phone time.


**Cubicle Power**

Plan for power sourcing to ensure all cubicles have adequate electrical access, especially when connected in groups.


**Storage Capacity**

Choose cubicles with sufficient storage options like shelves, overhead bins, and file cabinets, particularly for document-heavy businesses.


**Maintenance Needs**

Consider the maintenance requirements of different cubicle materials. Fabric may need more frequent replacement than steel or aluminum, and cleaning tasks like dust control and stain removal are essential.


**Delivery and Installation Lead Times**

Plan ahead for delivery and installation to avoid delays in office build-outs or redesigns, considering current longer lead times and installation team availability.


As office environments evolve, so does cubicle design. While open office layouts have been popular, studies show they can decrease communication. Cubicles can offer a balance between individual focus and team collaboration. When designing an office, consider how cubicles fit into the overall design goals, including factors like sizing, accessories, power options, storage capacity, maintenance needs, and delivery and installation lead times. For more information, visit [Ufficiofurniture.com](https://www.ufficiofurniture.com).

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