The Most Creative Ways to Decorate Your Office Cubicle for Christmas

The leaves have fallen, pumpkins are long gone and Thanksgiving is here – which can only mean one thing: it’s time to start decorating for Christmas! From classic Christmas vignettes to clever pop culture homages, we’ve got plenty of decoration tips, examples and ideas that’ll help make your cubicle the talk of the office this holiday season.

Turn your cubicle into a gingerbread house

It’s entirely up to you whether or not you decorate with fake or real candy, just be prepared for a lot of drop-ins by hungry coworkers if you choose the latter. You’d be surprised what a little brown or red wrapping paper, Christmas lights, cardboard and cotton can do to an old, gray cubicle. Some of our all-time favorite gingerbread house-themed cubicles include Yule log screensavers, falling snow made from threaded cotton balls and plenty of Christmas lights. This gingerbread house cubicle gets the award for Best Use of Balloons.


Make it a charlie brown christmas

It’s easy to take the Charlie Brown Christmas story a bunch of different directions. You can whip up Lucy’s doctor stand with some red wrapping paper, paper towel rolls and cotton; paste cutouts of the singing characters onto a wall, complete with hanging lights; or you can just put ol’ Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree on your desk and call it a day.


Walking in a winter wonderland

There’s no rule that you have to use red and green when decorating your office or cubicle for Christmas. Sometimes it’s easier to pick a color scheme and stick to it. Gold and silver works great, as does blue, white and silver. A quick and easy way to add pops of holiday color to your office is by lining the top of your cubicle walls with colored garland. One of the most unique ways to turn your office into a winter wonderland is with paper snowflakes! You can ask your coworkers to cut some out and then hang them from the ceiling, too.


Make the most of the materials you have

Just because you want to decorate your cubicle for Christmas doesn’t mean you have to blow half your paycheck on supplies and decorations. Sometimes the best Christmas decorations are made out of things you’ve got laying around the office already. It’s amazing what can be done with some paper cups and garland. Save up the old paper towel tubes and wrap them in red and white ribbon (or just use Sharpies) to turn them into candy canes, or if your job allows access to larger sized cardboard tubes you can turn your cubicle into a log cabin! This cubicle-turned-log-cabin gets the award for Most Creative Use of Cardboard Tubes.


create a christmas village

When it comes to decorations, the more the merrier! This is your chance to get everyone in the office involved, regardless of religion. If you have some humbugs in the office you can just decorate a group of cubicles or single door. Or, you can turn it into a teambuilding exercise and have a Christmas decorating contest. When it comes to decorating en masse, more is more. Be sure to include giant lighted candy canes, tons of fluffy snow and copious amounts of lights. We love what happened when the entire group at this office banded together to create Snowman Park.


you can't go wrong with the classics

Sometimes the simplest decorations are the best. Like taking wrapping paper and ribbons and turning everything into a present. You can wrap the fronts of your filing cabinet drawers in wrapping paper for a functional decoration, you can plaster the outer walls of your cubicle in wrapping paper, complete with a ribbon and tag from Santa, or you can just take a long vacation and maybe your coworkers will wrap your entire desk, cubicle and chair for you like they did to this guy.


Hopefully you have plenty of ideas to decorate your cubicle with this Christmas season. We’re always looking for new ideas; so if you already decorated and want to show off, share your photos with us! We may even include them in an upcoming post. If you’re interested in learning more about our vast inventory of cubicles, request a quote and talk with our team today.

steelcase1 Steelcase-Susan_Cain-Private Offices

Cubicles: Defining Our Workspace

Love them or hate them, cubicles have played a big role in the life of the white-collar American for 50+ years, with no signs of slowing. In the beginning, cubicles were invented to 1) maximize floor space and, 2) give employees their own little slice of office to call their own.

Basically, the cubicle was an invention born from our innate desire to control our workspace. Lecturer at Leeds University Business School and workspace design specialist, Dr. Matthew Davis points out that, “We have a really innate instinct about space and making things our own.”

The Great Debate: Open Offices vs. Cubicle Farms

Cubicles have been the basis of inter-office debates for years now. Some say they waste space and have the potential to stifle creativity, and prefer an open workplace environment. However, there’s a lot of research out there showing that open office plans can actually be disruptive to individuals’ focus, morale and health, for introverts especially. So how do you decide on the perfect office layout for your company’s needs?

The key to choosing the right type of workspace design, elements and layout depend on a number of factors, but the most important one you’ll want to pay attention to is balance. Keeping the wants and needs of your employees in mind will help you strike that perfect balance between privacy and proficiency.

Steelcase-Susan_Cain-Private Offices

These private offices from the Steelcase and Susan Cain collaboration allow for workers to focus amidst office distractions. (source)

The Evolution of Cubicle Uses over Time

One big difference between old-school cubicles and modern cubicles is that cubicles aren’t just used as traditional workspaces anymore. They’re used as private offices, for collaborative workstations, in call centers, even as quiet spaces. Cubicle uses have evolved just like the definition of the traditional workplace has. First, let’s take a look at your traditional call center cubicle.

Call Center Cubicles

The main purpose of a call center cubicle is to provide a semi-private setting from which an individual can make calls and perform the other administrative tasks required. Your basic call center cubicle will take up a small footprint and includes walls that are short enough for a supervisor to monitor calls and perform on-the-spot training. Call center cubicles typically include enough room for one individual, a chair, a notepad and computer, and a phone. They can also be called center stations or telemarketing cubicles, but the main function remains the same.

Private Offices in Open Floor Plans

Collaboration is great and all, but sometimes distractions pop up and it can be hard to get any serious work done in an office with an open floor plan. To solve these and other frustrations, there’s the private office cubicle. But don’t be fooled — they may be called cubicles, but they’re actually state-of-the-art instant executive offices. Many modular private offices offer glass walls to maximize natural lighting and so the employee doesn’t feel shut off from the rest of the team. The private glass- or wood-paneled cubicles have doors and can be customized to include other features while still providing privacy when needed.

Agile Workstations for Collaboration

Just when you thought you had the whole “open office plan,” thing under control, along came the Agile office layout. The key to successfully utilizing an Agile office layout is by creating collaborative workstations throughout the office. Instead of each developer (Agile methodology, after all, came from the techie world) or worker having their own cubicle, there are collaborative workstations strategically placed throughout. The purpose of a collaborative workstation can vary as much as the look and feel itself.

Some collaborative workstations come equipped with soundproof walls, standing tables, and high-definition videoconferencing features to accommodate those who are working remotely. Other collaborative workstations are set up to serve the function of meeting rooms and can be equipped with comfy couches, built-in interactive screens, hidden storage areas and lots of lighting. One of the most important principles to take from Agile office design is the need for both private spaces as well as collaborative workstations.


An office next to a Connect Hub, a perfect example of an Agile workstation. (source)

Cubicle Relaxation Stations and Quiet Spaces

Melanie Redman, the senior design researcher of office furniture manufacturer Steelcase, said, “We’re wired to be social, but we’re also wired to be individuals.” Designating certain cubicles as shared quiet spaces or relaxation stations can help give workers a place to unwind and recharge, whether between meetings or to take a break during especially taxing projects. Some of the best uses of cubicles as quiet spaces involve mixing an intentional light source (like the natural lighting from floor-to-ceiling windows) with comfy furniture and places to relax, meditate, focus – even power nap.

The bottom line is that when it comes to office design, you should always consult with your employees and aim to strike a balance between privacy and productivity. We hope you’ve gained some inspiration from our write-up and that the next time you’re in charge of ordering new furniture for the office you’re able to think outside the cubicle!

Cubicles 101: Choosing the Right Size Cubicle for Your Office

The modern workspace has undergone some big changes over the past few years thanks to the rise of coworking spaces, desk sharing and virtual offices. But no matter how far we stray from the traditional office layout, the cubicle remains, though it too has undergone some serious evolution. If you’re wondering what type of cubicle to consider for your office, or if you want to learn a little more about the most common piece of modern office furniture, keep on reading!

Herman Miller Action Office II ca 1976

From the Action Office & Beyond: A Brief History of Cubicles

The office cubicle as we know it today was invented in 1967 by Robert Propst, a designer at Herman Miller. The very first office cubicle, called the Action Office II (AO2), was developed as a solution to suit the changing needs of office employees in the 60s. The goal was simple: to define an office space that was capable of suiting an employee’s changing needs, while allowing some privacy and giving employees the ability to personalize their workspace—all without taking up too much space. A man ahead of his time, Propst was even the first proponent of standing desks!


The Federal Reserve Bank of New York was the first office to use Propst’s cubicle design, the AO2.

Propst’s concept hinged on having a two- to three-sided vertical division that defined territory and allowed privacy, without alienating the employee from the sounds and activities going on around them. His original idea was to create open “bullpens,” the panels of which would be joined at 120-degree angles. Unfortunately, management realized they could fit more employees if the offices were cube-shaped, so they constructed connectors with 90-degree angles and voila! The cubicle as we know it was born.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York was the first office to use Propst’s AO2, arranging the “pods” in groups of four, each with an L-shaped desk and overhead storage. These days, modern cubicles come in different heights, shapes, sizes and materials. Banking and insurance businesses were some of the first to adopt open plan office systems, but nearly every industry has followed, specifically service industries.

Modern cubicles include built-in desks, storage space, and can even include various ergonomic features like well-placed lighting and footrests. Other types of cubicles that you may see at banks or in hospitals are little more than desks with dividers. The type of cubicle you need depends on how you’re planning to use it and what type of business you’re looking to furnish.

Different Types of Cubicles

Call Center Cubicles - Call center cubicles, also called telemarketing cubicles, are the right choice when a small footprint is desired. Call center cubicles are smaller than average office cubicles and are made with enough workspace for one person, similar to study booths in libraries. They usually have shorter walls than average office cubicles, and the panels often extend only to the edge of the desk. Many modern call center cubicles offer glass panels to provide transparency without making employees feel like they’re under a microscope. Common call center footprints are:

  • 2’x5’
  • 4’x4’
  • 5’x5’

Standard Office Cubicles – Standard office cubicles can be extraordinarily spacious and are available with a variety of layouts and worksurfaces. Standard office cubicles are also designed for one person to use, but there’s enough room for an extra chair in case a visitor stops by, as well as space for any materials or equipment the worker may need (think computers, files, phones and notepads). Worksurfaces in standard cubicles are typically l-shaped or u-shaped and come in both high- and low-panel options. Manager cubicles can be constructed with larger footprints than standard and in custom dimensions, but generally speaking, standard cubicle footprints are:

  • 6’x6’
  • 6’x8’
  • 8’x8’

basic cubicle design 2015

Today's cubicles are used in private offices, call centers and beyond.

Modular Offices - One of the main complaints about cubicles is that they eliminated the private office. There are still plenty of cases where privacy is necessary, like human resources and when delivering private financial or medical information, and modular offices are the solution. Modular offices, also called executive offices or high-walled cubicles with doors, have a much larger footprint than cubicles. In modular offices, the walls are generally at least 12’ high and can come in glass or solid paneling, perfect for giving decision makers levels of privacy while keeping an open office plan. When you need an instant executive office, modular offices are the only way to go.

Standard Cubicle Heights

Unless you’re ordering a custom cubicle, there are three basic cubicle heights: low (42” wall height), medium (53” wall height), and high (66” wall height).  Check out our blog post to see what your office cube height says about your company.

Generally speaking, 5x5 cubicles have medium walls, so they’re good in industries where supervisors need to keep an eye on employees, and in nearly every corporate situation. Storage space in 5x5 cubicles tends to be a little more limited than cubicles with a larger footprint, but it’s still easy to find 5x5 cubicles with plenty of drawers, pedestals and overhead storage options.

6x6 cubicles can have medium walls or high walls, and the extra floor space makes it easy to squeeze in an extra filing pedestal or two. Depending on the layout you choose, 6x6 cubicles offer plenty of open space for collaboration with colleagues. Some 6x6 cubicles even have additional shelving units, lighting options, and other high tech features.

How Many Cubicles Can I Fit in my Office?

When determining what size cubicle you need there are several factors to consider: the manufacturer, panel thickness, clustering capabilities, and work surface models.  Popular cubicle sizes are approximately 9’x12’ for a middle manager or engineer who has multiple computer systems; 8’x0’ for senior staff members or engineers; 8’x8’ for general staff; and 6’x6’ for administrative and telephone support personnel.

Evolution of the Action Office II ca1978

While computers have evolved leaps and bounds since 1978, the typical office design has largely stayed the same, thanks to Propst.

The actual square footage that you have available to pack with cubicles depends on a series of metrics essential for analyzing the efficiency of any office space. These metrics are the Gross Density Ratio, usually between 175 useable square feet (USF)/person to 325 USF/person; and the Enclosed to Open Ratio. There are also other factors to consider like the Circulation Factor and room sizes, all of which an architect or space planning professional can assist with.

Cubicle Worksurface and Materials

Cubicles these days can be constructed in almost any material desired. Cubicle panels and partitions can be built out of fine exotic woods, soft fabrics, glass, metal and more. The counter or desk component of an office cubicle is typically constructed from laminate or wood. While some of the more popular cubicle materials can get pricey, it’s easy to find and buy high-quality used and refurbished cubicles online.

Choosing cubicles for your office can be a bit of a pain if you don’t know what your options are, so if you’re looking for like-new cubicles for an office or workspace, give us a call today. We’ll help steer you in the right direction with our decades of expertise and well-stocked inventory.

2015 herman miller cubicle

Cubicles today capture the tone of a business, with modern touches to make working easier. Browse our selection of cubicles.

Breathtaking Incredibles Piar Animated Characters Replica In Hallway pixar cubiclesPixar SketchingPixar Toy Story Woody and Buzz legosPixar LobbyPixar Artwork OfficePixar FoosballPixar Friday Beer BashFinding Nemo Pixar SharkPixar Cereal Bar

10 Cool Things About Working in the Pixar Office

Most of us slog away at our keyboards, hidden away in generic burlap office cubicles, with no idea of any other work environment. The folks at Pixar are here to ruin that for you, by showing you what their employees think is normal office life. How cool is their daily grind? Picture rooms full of cereal, with cartoon characters at every turn, and ping-pong tables fighting foosball tables for the most-fun office furniture award.

Design Modern Office Design

Tips for Creating an Impressive Workspace for Employees and Clients

As a business grows and the desks are filling up, you may have to think about rearranging your workplace or even moving into a larger office. We want to create a unique environment that provides comfort for all employees. Trends for designing the office space are beginning to change and modernize to create a communal and team environment for coworkers. An aesthetically pleasing design starts with taking a unique approach when choosing commercial office furniture. Here are some tips for creating an impressive workspace.

Benefits of Ergonomic Furniture

The Benefits of Ergonomic Office Furniture

When you’re working in an office setting, chances are you’re spending a lot of time at a desk or workstation. A typical employee works about 2000 hours per year, usually working on a computer or performing office related tasks that require sitting. These desk jobs can often be detrimental to their health, especially without the right equipment. To maintain an optimal comfort level, there are a number of ergonomic solutions that can be beneficial for your work performance, as well as your health.

Christmas as the office

10 Awesome Office Holiday Party Ideas

Office workers spend 11 months of the year slogging away in an office cubicle, filing TPS reports, and dodging conference calls. It’s no wonder that most look forward to the holidays, the one time of year when employees can let their hair down, eat too much free food, and maybe, if they’re lucky, throw one heck of a party. Here are 10 of the best holiday party ideas the interwebs have to offer.

Halloween Cubicle

10 Halloween Decorating Ideas for Your Office Cubicle

It’s beginning to look a lot like Halloween out there, and hopefully your office cubicle is following suit. If your office allows it, dressing up your cubicle is the perfect way to add a little spice to the work day and give your coworkers something to talk about.