Archive for the ‘Used Cubicles’ Category

Design Considerations for Call Centers

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Call Centers require specific layouts to meet their fast paced environment and large amount of employees. Often set in one room, call centers need extra privacy for phone calls, while keeping an open enough space for supervision and quality control.

Walls Are a Requirement: Call center cubicles need walls. With the amount of telephone traffic that goes through a call center, walls are a very necessary feature to any cubicle setup. Walls should be tall enough to give each employee some privacy while they are on the phone, but low enough for a supervisor to see what they are doing. The middle panel of a call center cubicle can be taller than the side walls, as the additional height is often used to install a small cabinet for storage. Many cubicles now have walls made from soundproofing material. If available, these are a worthwhile investment to consider.

Workstation Setup: Call center workstations should be large enough to fit a computer, monitor, telephone, note pad, pens, and a few files if applicable. Typically, these spaces are smaller than an administrative workstation, as there is less of a need for storage and filing. When building a workstation, be sure to take your employees comfort into consideration.

Layout: Call centers can benefit from a cluster configuration with their supervisor stationed in the center. In a cluster, a group of cubicles share a centralized frame (sometimes called spine) that is divided into multiple cubicles. This type of configuration is very beneficial for offices that require large groups of employees to work in one room.

The 3 Types of Cube Heights (And What It Says About Your Company)

So you’re in the market for office cubicles. Before you run out and buy just any old set, do a little research. Office furniture says a lot about a company.

No, we’re not talking about research on which fabric for the conference room chairs best complements the CEO’s favorite tie or what what type of decorative fern can survive the longest without being watered.

We’re talking about your basic workstation. And when it comes to purchasing cubicles, size does matter.

Wall size, that is.

Here’s the low-down (or the high-up) on the three types of cube heights and what they say about your organization.

Low (42″-high walls)

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Cubicles with low walls allow employees to see and talk to each other while seated. While this doesn’t afford much privacy, it does allow for a lot of collaboration and free flow of ideas. A company that goes the low-walled route likely fosters team work and creativity. The benefits include spontaneous brainstorming sessions and informal meetings about upcoming projects. Of course, not all employees sing Kumbaya to these wide open spaces. No walls means more noise  – from Ken mindlessly humming “Desperado” to Shirley’s 3 o’clock Doritos break — complete with loud crunching and finger-licking. And while the low walls allow for more conversation, that conversation isn’t always work-related. On the one hand, this may allow employees some much-needed respite from long hours staring at spreadsheets; on the other, you might be subjected to endless debates about whether Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez were worthy replacements to Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul on “American Idol.”

Medium (53″-high walls)

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Picking medium height cubicle walls is the Great Compromise of office layout. Employees have more privacy — and by extension will have an easier time blocking out the office din to focus on work. On the flipside, all they have to do is stand to share a victory high five for landing a big client, or chat with their neighbor about that upcoming presentation or how annoying Steven Tyler is when he sings along with the people auditioning for the show (I mean really, it’s not called “Aerosmith Idol”!) And (bonus!) medium-high walls have the added benefit of forcing employees to get up and stretch their legs periodically — which your ergonomically obsessed HR lady will love. Companies furnished with medium-height cubicles might come across as being more formal and productivity oriented, compared with their free-wheeling, low-walled brethren.

High (66″-high)

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High-walled cubicles are the Rolls Royce of office privacy. Even standing, employees cannot peer into each other’s office space, which allows for quiet, focused work without outside distractions. This layout is ideal for counselors or others who might need to have sensitive conversations on a regular basis and for people who have difficulty focusing in noisier office environments. The drawback to high-walled cubicles is that they could make an employee feel isolated and out of touch with their co-workers, managers and the organization as a whole. And while an employee has the cocoon of silence necessary to finish an assignment, they also might try to sneak in a little extra Farmville between memos. The most formal of the three options, high-walled cubicles seem suited to a more serious or conservative company that values productivity and discretion more than collaboration.

Now that you’ve done the really important work of building an office space, you’re free to riffle through carpet samples and pick a company refrigerator large enough to hold months worth of frozen dinners and yogurt.

How to Deal with Loud Music in Your Coworker’s Cubicle

In today’s offices, people are working closer and closer together. Even if you are “lucky” enough to work in a cubicle (versus at an open desk), a coworker in the cubicle next to you can still easily annoy you. Like it or not, there are some people who think that the thin cubicle wall somehow magically blocks all the noise that they are making.

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Since the loud music your cube neighbor jams may be just the distraction you do not need as you put the finishing touches on a big project, addressing the issue may be a necessary evil. And since standing up and screaming at them to turn down the music is not an option (ah, if only it was), there are a few techniques you can try to squash the noise without creating an awkward working environment.

Do a quick self-check – First of all, take a moment to assess all of the events at hand. Is the music really that loud, or are you stressed, irritable or having a bad day? Make sure a volume adjustment is really warranted before addressing your coworker.

Hint around – In casual conversation with the offending coworker, subtly mention that the project you’re working on takes utmost concentration and that even though you’d love to be rocking out in your own cube, you simply can’t focus with music blaring. In the next breath, mention how dastardly the thin cubicle walls are and how you can hear Bob from Sales talking to his wife on the phone even though he’s three cubes away.

Grab the ‘phones – Get a set of cheap headphones, put them in your desk drawer and the next time your coworkers starts blaring music, you’re armed.

Have “The Talk” – If none of the other options work and you’re feeling adventurous, you can initiate a delicate conversation with your coworker about how their penchant for loud tunes is a bit distracting. Let them know that you respect their decision to listen to music and that you are not asking them to turn it off altogether, you’re just hoping for a compromise. Then, pull the aforementioned headphones out of your desk drawer and tell them that when you listen to music you usually use the headphones and that if they would like, they are more than welcome to borrow yours (just don’t forget to swipe them down with an antibacterial wipe afterwards!).

While pointing out any fault of a coworker could easily elicit a firestorm of office politics, another person’s habits should not interfere with the productivity of others. When it does, be it loud music, gum snapping, cell phones ringing, etc., it’s time to address the problem. Remaining objective, empathetic and even-keeled are the keys to compromise – and success!

3 Questions You Must Answer Before Buying Used Cubicles

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Outfitting a successful business with used office furniture is a great way to get your team into a productive position without breaking the budget. Thankfully, used office furniture is not confined solely to tables, desks and chairs. Used cubicles are also yours for the taking, but there are a few things to consider before making your purchase.

1. Cubicle Size - Obviously, this will depend on the amount of floor space you have to work with. Many cubicles can be configured into different heights and widths, giving you an array of sizing options. Some cubicles are large enough to have doors, while others are so compact they only fit a desk. Consider where your cubicles will be placed and look into working with a space planner to help with layout ideas.

2. Appearance – Cubicles generally come with fabric-covered panels, some patterned, some plain. Consider what colors and patterns will work well with your current or future office décor. Do you want the cubicles to have windows? Doors? Wood trim? Space for a guest chair or filing system? Some cubicles even come with closets and wardrobes for personal belongings. The options are limitless, so determine which features are must-haves and which are nice extras before beginning your search.

Also pay close attention to scratches, paint nicks, scuff marks and dents. Are you willing to live with these minor defects in exchange for a great deal on the price? Can the defects be hidden, covered or repaired? Sometimes saving a bundle requires a little elbow grease. One thing you never want to compromise on, however, is the cubicle’s structure. If it does not sit squarely on the floor, you have a safety risk. Definitely not worth the savings!

3. Technological Features – Modern cubicles often come with an array of technological enhancements like outlets, data ports and switches. Some even have lighting under the overhead storage units. Are these features important to your business? Would they be beneficial to your employees? Again, determine your needs and wants before making a final selection.

Remember, the people you place in these cubicles will be there for many hours a day. While it’s tempting to choose a cubicle that least impacts your business’ bottom line, it’s important to remember that the working conditions of your employees – and any negative effects like sick days, workers’ comp, etc, that result from those conditions – will also affect your bottom line.

When you’re ready to shop, Arnolds Office Furniture has you covered. View our extensive selection and call, stop in or email today!