The goal of any call center cubicle layout is to increase productivity while conserving space, with bonus points if the company saves money as well. There are several layouts that accomplish these aims. Which one you choose depends greatly on your company’s goals, resources, and culture.
There are a few variables you should consider when choosing a call center cubicle layout, including:
1. Floor plan and surface area: How much room do you have to work with, and what other features must you factor into your design? This would include bathrooms, meeting areas, utility panels, and so on.
2. Workflow: Cubes in general are getting smaller, but call center work spaces are getting larger, increasing from four-foot desks to as much as six in some centers. Exact numbers aren’t important, of course; the point is to make sure workers have room to maneuver.
3. Ergonomics: All the space in the world won’t help productivity if your employees are using non-ergonomically correct equipment. Carpal tunnel syndrome increases no one’s profits, and it’s pretty lousy for morale as well.
With all this in mind, here are three popular call center cubicle layouts, and the pros and cons of each.
1. The Row
This is the Coke Classic of call center cubicle layouts. It’s the traditional layout, and arguably the most popular, and for good reason: It works, it’s relatively cheap to install and maintain, and it doesn’t require a lot of thought during the layout planning process.
On the downside, it’s not the most cheerful office decor. The row of cubes can either seem pared down and classic … or mechanical and soul-crushing.
2. The Quad Table
A variation on the row, the quad table allows still allows call centers to plant many cubicles in their cube farm, but without the monotony of the traditional row of desks. Advantages of this layout include greater chance for collaboration, a more open and modern feel to the office, and better aesthetics.
So what’s the disadvantage of the quad table? You probably will lose a bit of space, as it’s not quite as efficient as row after row of desks. Also, the chummier atmosphere might work against your productivity goals, as four people facing each other over a low divider might feel more inclined to talk to one another than to make calls.
3. The Honeycomb or Zigzag
Honeycomb or zigzag designs are the cutting edge of call center cubicle layouts, and might be the wave of the future. They combine the best features of the old and the new, saving space and maximizing productivity while looking fantastic and modern. The staggered layout offers workers privacy while cultivating a feeling of openness and energy flow.
The drawback to the honeycomb? Cost and planning. These newer designs are offered by high-end firms like Herman Miller, for Herman Miller-style prices. And even budget products will require careful design to make the best use of space.