The past few weeks have been really hard on everyone in the office because, well, we haven’t been in the office. In addition to a few other design changes, our office manager has decided to put in new cubicles and to spruce up our office which was starting to show it’s age. We have yet to see what the “new” office will look like but it’s almost certain to be more modern, cleaner, brighter and crisper looking than what we had before.
If you are trying to imagine what our office looked like before the redesign (kind of hard to do since neither you or I know what it might look like NOW) think of any movie you have ever seen with a big, boring, dull and gray room full to the brim with cubicles. Each cubicle is a perfect five foot by five foot square with a gray felt-like material being used. There are thin isles between these office partitions but other than that it is just an endless sea of cubicles. Occasionally you will see a fake plant or a water cooler but those are usually there to serve a function. Obviously the water cooler’s function is to hydrate the staff but even the fake plant is only there to conceal a bunch of power cords and power cables that were unsightly. If there was a way they could cover up those cords without the plant it wouldn’t even be there in the first place.
The company we ordered new office furniture from is called MacBride and they specialize in designer office supplies like office chairs, desks, conference tables, reception furniture and yes, cubicles. Their lineup of materials and styles is always changing and always fresh. If you so choose you can opt for the basic cubicle design that won’t impress anyone, OR you can do what we hope our manager is doing and get some nifty designs and colors splashed throughout the office to help lighten everyone’s mood. It’s not that morale is inherently low in the office or anything, but if there is a simple way to make everyone feel better while you boost productivity it would seem like a no brainer to me.
I guess beyond hoping that we get some color and interesting design elements thrown in the office I don’t have much in the way of expectations. I hope they use good taste and put together something tasteful and classy for us to enjoy on a daily basis. I saw a box of glass floor mats in the storage area so I at least know they have upgraded us from those hideous plastic ones that always break and fade to a gross yellow color. Hopefully while looking through the MacBride commercial design catalogue they decided it was time to replace the aging conference table and get something that is a little more up to date. I think everyone’s attitude would change for the better if they would change our surroundings a little bit to reflect the change in times.
One of the best way to insure that your employees are working to their highest potential is to ensure that they are working inline with ergonomics around the office. Ergonomics is study of the efficiency of people working in their environments. Many common health issues can be traced back to improper ergonomics. In the modern day cubicle culture of office workers , ergonomics are extremely important. Think of the amount of hours in a day that an office worker spend sitting and looking at his or her computer. If there is anything wrong in their ergonomics, then chronic use issues can arise along the lines of carpel tunnel syndrome, headaches, and chronic back pain. An ergonomically correct chair will support the natural curvature of the spine and at the same time support the lumbar, thus preventing issues with the back. A computer monitor should be at eye level and at least 20 inches away from the eyes of the user. This way, no strain or awkward neck positions are necessary. The keyboard should be configured to the intricacies of each person body in order to avoid carpel tunnel syndrome. When sitting, your feet should be able to rest on the floor and there should be enough cushion to avoid issues with blood flow in your lower extremities. Along those same lines, new studies recommend that sedentary workers should stand up and stretch for at least 15 minutes for every 2 hours that they work. In the privacy of a cubicle, doing so shouldn’t be distracting to co-workers.
One of most negative connotations of an office job is that you will nothing but a paper pusher sitting in a tiny cubicle along with all the other minions of the company. I was always a little unnerved by this perception since all I had ever wanted to do was work in a nice big business building. I wanted the 9-5 job in a nice office doing important paper work, and working on a computer all day. I didn’t have any issues with those being my job responsibilities. I didn’t however want to be stuck day in and day out in a tiny cube of space, surrounded by dozens of other employees doing the exact same job as me. When I finally graduated from college, I started interviewing and every company I could get in touch with. It was on one of those interviews that I saw the most amazing office space I had ever witnessed.
There were cubicles in the center of the room, but they were the nicest cubicles I had ever seen. I was so impressed that I had to compliment the CEO on this matter. He told me that the space didn’t always look that impressive, until they worked with MacBride Office Furniture to revamp the space. He said they not only provided the office partitions forming the cubicles, they also sent someone from their commercial design department to assemble them in the most space efficient manner. I would have never thought so much was possible with a few partitions. MacBride definitely changed my opinion on the monotony of cubicle spaces.
MacBride Office Furniture
1240 Birchwood Driver #1
Sunnyvale, CA 94089
So now you have that fancy ergonomic chair that is supposed to make your work more productive and satisfying. And I believe in those things. First of all, I believe wholeheartedly in the idea that if you are comfortable and happy, you will be more productive. I also think that it is important to make sure that workers are safe and free from workplace accidents. This even applies to those that work within cubicle walls. People usually think of people working on oil rigs or Virginia coal miners when they think of workplace safety. But it also applies to cubicles as well. And ergonomic chairs are one of the ways that you can preserve your back if you are sitting at a chair all day. But here is the trick. How do you set up the darn thing? I mean, it is just chair. But, then, it is not just any chair. And if you have spent all of that money on this fancy chair, it would be wasteful to use it incorrectly. So make sure that you read the instruction manual or ask an expert how to adjust it just for your frame. If it can be specialized just to your body, your body will thank you later. I hate working all day, and then feeling so tired or sore that I cannot enjoy myself once work is over. If I have been sitting down all day at a desk, I want to go running afterward or something. But if I do not use my chair correctly, I’ll be too sore to do so.
I recently moved into a new office with a colleague. Before, I was stationed in a group of cubicles next to our department’s assistant and could hear everything that was going on all the time. I think that it did a great job of keeping me on task, not like right now, but it also was kind of stressful. I could hear every piece of conversation at the friendship table and I could hear all of these rumors and what not. I think that right now, my office is pretty great, but oh wait, I am getting away from what I wanted to talk about. What I wanted to talk about was the new office space. Before I moved in here, there were two other colleagues that used to share this office. They have since moved out, but when they were in here they had this huge office partition up. Now, we have a very open space and I think that people really like it for the most part. There are negatives though. We can hear each other very clearly which makes it difficult when we are both trying to make phone calls at the same time. That said, we have rarely run into a situation where we have gotten overly annoyed with one another. I hope that stays true because I do not know where they would like me put my standup cubicle if I had to leave this office. As a result, we must remain cordial and enjoy our friendship.
Do you need to make your business grow? Are you getting an influx of employees that are trying to get hired? Do you want them to feel comfortable in your business setting? Well we are here to help with that. We want you to order a cubicle so you know that your employees are doing the best possible job they can and are absolutely paying attention to all details. You want your business to thrive and you want to make the most income possible. You know that your business will allow you to do this, but you have to make the proper changes to your cubicles. You want the newest and best kind just so your staff is comfortable. Our cubicles are so sturdy you will not have to buy any for a while. We want your business to thrive, but the only way you can do this is by making sure that your employees are happy. They will be very happy that they can work in their own space with out being crowded or bombarded by different people that will ultimately distract them from doing their job. You want to them to be completely comfortable with their work surroundings so getting your staff cubicles is probably something they deserve. You should really give us a call today so we can show you all of the ways we can benefit your company. We want you to feel at home with us, and we also want you to be able to ask all of the questions you need. Let’s order your cubicles today.
I think that when you are talking about the new building that our organization is planning to build. You are not thinking very much about the cubicles and the spaces that we will be working in. I think that you think very little about that kind of stuff. In fact, I think that when you are thinking about a new building you are thinking about the windows and whether you get a window or not. I think that there are a few things that people like you think about and sunlight is one of those things. I have a good friend who I work with who is going through some serious stuff and he is looking to move into a new house and he is for sure very worried that there are only one or two places these days that will take him and his stuff and his cat and let him move into an apartment with out sunlight. There seems to be a lot of places out there that have the ability to let in sunlight and the place that I am right now does not allow a lot of sunlight. Its not that I am in the basement but it is an issue that I am unable to be looking at the sun when it is day time. What I have started to notice is that as the warmth comes to this state and its starts to be summer time there are some neighbors that I have that have a commercial design house.
The right cubicle walls can definitely be somewhat difficult to setup, but if you have a small business with the need for some privacy it is a good call to make. Employees tend to be more productive when they have their own space to work in, and this is true of small businesses just as much as large ones. Looking at the cubicle materials and colors in question would also be a very good idea, because otherwise you could end up with a bad option in your office. This is not something that you want to encourage, so you really need to take the time to look at exactly what your options are. In no time at all you can usually get things figured out, but only if you are willing to look at the right ways in which cubicles can be used.
Checking the colors and style of the cubicles you are considering against the existing style in your office would be a very good idea. If you do not do this then you could have some unexpected clashes with your existing furniture, and such distractions can actually be somewhat distracting for employees. This is a whole lot to keep in mind for sure, and for this reason it is important that you keep your eye on the prize at all times. Making sure that you are able to accomplish this quickly is incredibly important in some scenarios, but if you are lucky enough to have extra time then you should use it. Just move forward in a way that is going to give you the time to test out some products, otherwise you could end up with a lemon.
We discussed in a previous post the major factor to consider in planning for the lay-out of your office. Efficiency is the major goal. There are other things to be considered, as well, aside from the design and layout of the office partitions.
These factors include the legal requirements mandated by local government units and agencies. They include:
- Fire safety,
- Proper lighting,
- Temperature settings,
- Signages, and
- Welfare and accessibility for the differently abled.
In some cities and areas, they also mandate that there is a minimum space for each employee.
There is no universal design for all types of offices. When planning for the layout of your office, you also consider the best type of environment that would help you meet your business objectives.
Call centers, for example, need appropriate noise reduction furniture and equipment. That would mean having cubicle walls that are optimized for noise reduction. That type of lay-out also necessitates only a small space for each person with less or even no document storage requirements and use of other office equipment except for the desktop computer.
Offices, like accounting and legal firms, which handle huge amounts of hard-copies of documents will need large desks, photocopying equipment, filing cabinets and archiving facilities near their desks.
Offices for creative industries like graphic design studios, ad agencies, and the like, need to be arranged that would facilitate creative thinking. Usually, a mood or idea board should also be provided to allow them to easily document their free-range thinking. Paintings, installations, colorful furniture are also beneficial for offices of companies with those types of work.
I always have been a team player. I grew up playing team sports and enjoy growing that relationship with people that I am competing with. With that being said, when I entered the work force I was surprised that the company I worked for liked to talk about team building and team work, but did not feel that way at all. All of our work space, or should I say cubicles, were partitioned off and isolated us from each other. Some times I did not know the person that was working in the cubicle across from me but I heard everything. It has been bizarre.
Until recently. Our company announced a proposed new office space. This is a totally open concept and where most of the creative and innovative companies have adapted. These concepts is what I have always imaging myself working in. Working with a team, and not have isolated barriers of cubicle walls separate us. I think half of the office is really happy with the potential new concept while the other half is terrified of losing their privacy. I have heard that these new concepts promote productivity, inclusiveness and really the essence of team work, which the company all talks about but I never see.
Either way, I am going to be a strong supporter and advocate for this new concept. I am tired of this old layout form the early nineties. Let us get in the here and now and change this office space to an open concept.
While at university, I worked in a LEED certified building in Stockton, California. It was very important for the university to create a new building that would be sustainable and green. The DeRosa University Center has reused glass for tiles in the restroom, big window arrangements to let in more light, reused carpeting, energy efficient lighting, and much more. The UC even has particular finishes on the woodwork and flooring which are environmentally friendly and release fewer gases into the air. I haven’t worked there in a good while but I still remember how important the “greener lifestyle” was at the DeRosa University Center.
Even behind the scenes there were green efforts. In the offices upstairs, there were reused cubicles where the administration held meetings and conducted day-to-day procedures. As staff members, we were very aware of our carbon intake (using emails and googleDocs instead of paper copies and memos), and we even had a Sustainability team. All of this in one building on a university campus? Sounds crazy right? Well, believe me, it took a large construction and commercial design team to create the building. Upon creating the building, there were many other steps that needed to be done to get the building LEED certified. So all in all, the university paid a pretty penny for the building but it is definitely worth it. It attracts many perspective students and it welcomes other visitors on campus. It is the center of campus life and it promotes a greener, sustainable future.