Many businesses across different industries are changing because of COVID-19. If you’re welcoming employees back into your office, odds are you’re going to have to make some changes, too. Using high wall workstations helps keep employees safe from COVID-19 by physically separating people from each other when a 6-foot distance isn’t achievable. As a bonus, cubicles are productivity boosters, separating people from noisy or visual distractions.
Learn more about the benefits of using tall office cubicles when returning to work, as well as some signs that it’s time to upgrade your office space below.
The COVID-19 pandemic reimagined the workplace. Although there are new obstacles, businesses aren’t in it alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) are constantly updating businesses with accurate information on how to upgrade their workplace to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Some of their recommendations include:
Following these guidelines, you’re likely going to make some changes to your current work environment. The safest way you can prevent the spread of COVID-19 is by creating more personal work areas, specifically via cubicles with tall walls.
Cubicles with tall walls can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Taller cubicles are safer to use than alternative small wall cubicles. As the CDC and WHO recommend, workplaces should install screens to separate workstations. Modern cubicles allow you to easily install tall walls to help follow these guidelines. And some are adjustable, allowing employees to move walls or windows to accommodate both independent and team-based work.
When selecting a cubicle wall height to protect against COVID-19, you’ll have three general options to consider:
Taking into consideration that the coronavirus spreads through respiratory droplets, the best cubicles to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when returning to work are tall cubicles. Employees will have limited opportunities to spread COVID-19 when separated by high wall cubicles. If your employees work in a highly collaborative environment, opt for sliding panels or encourage them to meet in a socially distanced conference room.
A cubicle’s design makes it so people can comfortably work in their office environment without the distractions of their working neighbors or communal areas. They’re also meant to keep people safe from the coronavirus. As you prepare to welcome employees back into the office, think about upgrading your existing cubicles or buying new cubicles altogether. To help you decide whether to upgrade or buy, take this information into consideration:
Be honest — are your current cubicles really satisfying your employees’ needs and COVID-19 safety precautionary measures? If not, then what changes do you need to make for them to be practical in your workspace? Make a list of these changes, like:
Assess your current cubicles. Can you easily make necessary upgrades at a reasonable cost? If so, you might consider updating your existing cubicles. Some of the pros and cons of upgrading what you already have are:
If the costs of upgrading exceed the cost of buying a new cubicle system, your best option may be to buy new cubicles. Compared to upgrading your existing cubicles, some pros and cons of buying new cubicle systems are:
Some of the benefits of cubicles with tall walls include:
COVID-19 spreads through respiratory droplets, produced when people talk, breathe, sing and cough, among other ways. Respiratory droplets linger in the air, spreading from person to person even hours after an infected employee leaves the office. The CDC recommends installing partitions between workspaces and regularly disinfecting your office space to control the spread of the coronavirus.
High wall cubicles create individualized spaces where employees can safely distance themselves from other people. These furnishings’ walls are tall enough that employees are protected even when standing, preventing any respiratory droplets from spreading throughout the office.
Many modern office cubicles are made of easy-to-clean fabric, metal, wood, plexiglass and other smooth surfaces. When disinfecting, use an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved cleaner and disinfectant that will kill and remove the virus that causes COVID-19. Always follow the instructions on the label of your cleaner, and wear gloves and ventilation equipment while cleaning.
Office buildings have limited space. One of the overarching benefits of cubicles is their use of space because they’re uniform and compact. Although cubicles can fit all of your employees comfortably in a smaller area, cubicles with tall walls maintain their safety. Depending on how you customize your cubicle, each can have a desk area, overhead storage, filing cabinets and even wardrobes. Compare this to lock-and-door offices, which take up too much room, or open office spaces that encourage the spread of COVID-19.
Cubicles ensure workplace equality. No one will feel like they have to battle for their safety — every employee will have equal access to a high wall cubicle that prevents the spread of COVID-19. People won’t have to compete to get the “best” office space because they already have it. And, when people aren’t constantly battling to get on top, they collaborate better and become more productive.
Although equal, employees still have the option to support their own identity by customizing and decorating their office space with personal items, memorabilia and so on.
Modern cubicles are flexible, giving employees opportunities to control where and how they work. With flexible office furnishings, employees have the option of keeping their wall partitions up when working independently, then simply sliding or removing the partitions when collaborating with neighbors.
Flexibility is yet another reason to consider upgrading your office space with new and modern cubicles. They can be taken down, reconfigured and put back up in just hours. So, no matter what challenges and changes your office takes on, you can trust your modern cubicles to stay flexible to many designs.
Employees have the right to privacy. Tall wall office cubicles separate employees both visually and audibly, eliminating disruptions like loud phone calls, group discussions or movement. It also prevents people from listening in on conversations or accidentally viewing confidential information, especially important in industries like health care or when supervisors are having private conversations with other employees.
Some employees also rely on audible privacy, working better in a silent, disruption-free environment. Working disruption-free allows employees to focus better, working more deeply and effectively. It also restores cognitive resources, aiding in lowering feelings of being overwhelmed, preventing employee burnout.
With cubicles, everyone is in the same seating vicinity. People can easily reach one another, when necessary, to share ideas and work together on projects, and team leaders can easily access their employees.
In traditional lock-and-door office spaces, office doors separate people and make it harder to collaborate spontaneously. Entirely open floor plans have zero separation and can cause great distractions. Tall wall cubicles give you the best of both worlds because you aren’t hidden behind a door, but you aren’t constantly available. Employees have more control of their work environment and their safety.
Many of the benefits listed share a similar outcome — increased productivity. Consider the following benefits and how they can translate to increase productivity, and therefore revenue, for your business:
Tall wall office cubicles are great investments for your office after COVID-19. You get many opportunities to save money, like not having to worry about making multiple short-term purchases for one-time-use clear dividers — you’ll always have the benefit of high walls. And you avoid making large investments in single-use noise cancellation equipment — the thick and tall walls do an adequate job at preventing noise transfer. Plus, with increased productivity, your business may see an increase in revenue, paying for your cubicle investment over time.
Arnold’s Office Furniture is the leading supplier of the revolutionary cubicle system, Sunline Signature Cubicle Systems. The Sunline Signature Cubicle System is a completely customizable and adjustable system that works with almost every office space. What makes this system so revolutionary is its slide-in-place design ― every wall, filing cabinet and accessory slides right into place. You can assemble, disassemble and reconfigure our designs within hours.
We offer many customizations, including cubicle wall height. Our high wall cubicles go up to 82.5-inches tall, giving you and your employees visual and auditory privacy for maximum productivity.