Use Benching Cubicles for Increased Collaboration in Los Angeles

Use Benching Cubicles for Increased Collaboration in Los Angeles

A Closer Look

The open office layout came about in part when tech firms had to boot-strap until investors stepped in, concepts were proven and investors funded the operations. In Los Angeles, established corporations along with start-ups and university departments have open office layouts but use systems like benching cubicles to differentiate departments.  Take a closer look at the benefits of the system and what benching cubicles offer to users.

Benching for All Team Players

Benching cubicles work well for managers overseeing a department or cluster of workers and for the team members themselves. Several stations can be configured together to accommodate a couple of people or several can easily be fit and arranged to seat an entire department.  Cubicles originally gave an almost claustrophobic feeling to employees but today’s choices like the Interra Cubicle by Friant allow for a more open, conversing atmosphere.

Benching for Efficient Communication

Benching cubicles have dividers that don’t get in the way like solid walls. Approaching co-workers or managers is easier than in a closed office. Personal interaction becomes organic and for electronic communication, it’s easy to plug in since the cubicles integrate well with technology.  The Accelerate Workstation by Hon is a good example of a system that shows clear boundaries for personal workspace while making the office accessible.

Benching for Department Identity

Form and function both come into play when choosing benching cubicles for an office. A finance department can have a completely different set up than a marketing team while a production group may want something even more unique.  The Crossroads Workstation by ODS has one style that can work for more numbers crunching and data entry compared to the Initiate Workstation by Hon that has a more traditional use of personal space.  Planning an office space well requires thinking through work functions and departmental relationships. It can’t be an afterthought. An office that designs work areas that truly support the workers has an easier time of attracting top talent than companies who simply fit desks together.

Whether refreshing an existing office or setting up a new office entirely, consider how benching cubicles, compared to desks and workstations, impact office flow and sharing information.

Workstation Solutions in Los Angeles for Maximum Office Productivity

Workstation Solutions in Los Angeles for Maximum Office Productivity and Industry Growth

Looking at Industry Growth

A company’s growth and daily operations impacts the office design and workstation solutions so employees work as efficiently as possible. In Los Angeles County, there’s an upbeat forecast for professional services.  Equipping staff in managerial and executive positions requires an understanding of desking solutions and how to maximize their use for industry growth.

Office and Industry Outlook

Professional services in the greater Los Angeles area is “promising because it supports many occupations that pay well in component industries” whether or not they benefit from automation. That’s according to the Los Angeles Economic Development Council (LAEDC).  The LAEDC also states that a “looming workforce shortage” exists since there’s an undersupply of about 2,000 workers to fill job openings. The LAEDC did a supply and demand study and came up with the worker shortage data based on data from regional community colleges.  There may be an “oversupply” in programs for paralegals, architects and engineers but a greater demand in administrative support, veterinary science, along with computers and design.

Office Planning – Industry Growth

Companies are more than statistics so space planning and design becomes essential when choosing the best workstation solutions. Height-adjustable workstations like the My-Hite Workstation by Friant allow individual workers to customize their own workspace experience.  The E5 Open Plan Benching by Mayline is a space saver while offering “expansive power capabilities.”  Know individual preferences and how departments can function well to select the right benching system.

Office Workstation Summary

Desking and benching solutions allow for customized workstation systems. Select a look and feel that reflect the company’s brand and provide the best support.  Open plan benching and desking solutions such as the Aptos Open Plan Desking by OFS can come with storage so each person has a place for their own work and personal items.

There are plenty of workstation solutions to accommodate offices in any industry in Los Angeles County. Base decisions on:

  • The number of employees
  • Possible future growth
  • And how departments or individuals communicate internally and with outside clients and vendors

A well-planned office — from the reception area to the breakroom — is an asset that helps employees work well and feel supported.

Image Source: Global FreeFit

Use Benching Workstations to Maximize Workplace Efficiencies

Use Benching Workstations to Maximize Workplace Efficiencies

The Benefit of Benching Workstations

Nonprofits in Orange County hit double digit growth in 2018, according to the OC Business Journal. Employment last year rose 1.4% among the Southern California county’s largest employers, including Disneyland.  Managing growth means keeping the office efficient and productivity high. See how benching workstations benefit growing companies in Orange County, Los Angeles, and the Inland Empire.

Add Staff Easily with Benching Workstations

Hiring additional personnel without laying off anyone is a sign that a company is doing well. Challenges exist. Bringing in people can disrupt an established flow of communication and personalities if it’s not done carefully and with advance planning.  That’s why benching workstations are a smart tool. Setting them up and configuring them to accommodate more or fewer worker can be done with very little cost of labor.  The Synapse Open Plan Benchingis an example of a straight forward, economical approach to benching workstations. Several employees have plenty of room with storage creating a boundary between each person.  The Teamworx Open Plan Desking system is more creative and keeps employee productivity high while using a minimum of floor space.

Configure Floor Plans Simply

Changing employee arrangements doesn’t mean people have to rotate from one preferred and coveted office into something less desirable. Benching workstations are great for offices and companies that operate more with a more “flat” organizational chart versus one that’s hierarchical.  Departments don’t need to be walled off from each other. Benching plan workstations can be arranged according to individual or departmental responsibilities.  A well-thought out floor plan in an open office can accommodate outside clients and visitors as well as staff. Create a comfortable meeting area with lounge chairs and custom tables that are set off from the rest of the office space by using indoor plants and a counter with available coffee and snacks.

Create an Atmosphere for Collaboration

Rather than walling off employees from each other, benching workstations can increase collaboration. Put a marketing team together in one set of workstations like the E5 Open Plan Benching by Mayline. The engineering team or graphic designer team can use a style that fits their needs and workflow.  Even in open office settings, the floor plan and departmental areas can be set apart by individual lounge chairs, meeting pods or office plants. Set aside quiet areas for those who want a break and refresh.  Set aside a separate area with training tables or conference style tables for larger group gatherings.

Reasons to Refresh and Improve Office Layout

Reasons to Refresh and Improve Office Layout

Steps to Improve Office Layout

A need to boost office morale and improve communication within or between departments are among the reasons to refresh an existing workspace and improve office layout. Today’s modular style furniture offers easy-to-implement solutions.

Let the Sun Shine In

Improve office layout by boosting overall morale with more natural light. Southern California is bathed in sunshine throughout the year, but office workers with desks removed from windows don’t get the benefits.  A 2014 study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine concluded that employees with access to plenty of natural light were more alert and productive during the day and slept more peacefully at night.  Another finding published in the Harvard Business Review showed that natural light in offices is more desired than on-site fitness centers and even perks like bringing one’s dog to work.  Make sure desks and work areas are within 25 feet of windows. For best results, install light tubes and larger windows.

Turn Private Cubicles into Group Work Pods

Changes in a work settings often evolve. While the company’s mission may remain the same, new client accounts or launches of product lines may be a call to improve office layout and allow workers  to streamline their communications.  New hires and workers from different generations can have unique expectations for what they consider a comfortable office setting. Stop and consider if your current layout allows members of different departments to communicate as effectively as possible.  Offices with multiple departments may want cubicles in certain areas to make work easier like a sales team that has to be on the phone. A finance department or production team may work best with open plan benching to share ideas and information with each other.

Use Modular Walls For Privacy and Transparency

Create a flexible conference room. When private conversations or group discussions are needed, install transparent architectural wallsto create boundaries within an open atmosphere. Equip the area with a wireless printer and flat screen monitor.

Create an Open Break Area

Many employees prize relationships in the work place. Provide an open break area with lounge chairsthat are clearly styled for individual, private space and other lounge furniture that’s easily configured for a small group.

The Mindset to Improve Office Layout

Refreshing an existing office space takes a little imagination and a knowledge of the available furniture and accessories.

Image Source: Groupe Lacasse

Benefits of Using Open Plan Cubicles in Los Angeles

Companies using open plan cubicles in Los Angeles are reaping the many office benefits they offer. Today’s many styles of open plan cubicles in Los Angeles provide defined personal areas without creating an atmosphere of barriers. In addition, re-configuring an office to accommodate growth over the years is easy and affordable.

Cubicle Styles

It’s important to understand what the many cubicle styles are in today’s office environments, and what works. Stylishly colored cubicles that blend in well allow a company to display its own distinct brand instead of a haphazard collection of desks or one-color partitions. Gone are the days of drab gray.  The modern office is all about color.  You’ll also find that many open plan cubicles in Los Angeles these days help alleviate the sense of claustrophobia. The EO+ Workstation by Global is a good example of modular panels that are visually pleasing and use translucent glass to let light filter through. This system works well in a spacious office or compact location. The Initiate Workstation by HON is similar to the EO+ and allows for each person to add their own distinctive touches to their workspace. When collaboration is important, consider cubicles by Friant like the Interra, Tiles, and System 2 workstations.

Easy Cubicle Configuration

Flexibility is important for large corporations in and around Los Angeles as well as entrepreneurial start-ups. New accounts or a need for better employee to employee communication can necessitate change.  Open plan cubicles can meet the fine line needed for discussion and idea sharing while offering privacy when a team member needs to withdraw from others and work in a focused manner.  Cubicles are easy to configure whether new hires come through the door or an office needs re-arranging to service a major account. Yet, the steel and aluminum parts are durable for a long life.

Considerations for Space Planning and Design

Knowing how to properly plan and design a space requires an understanding of what makes an office function well. Consider present needs and how the team is arranged and the impact of projected future growth.  In an open office setting, private areas become important for people who need to withdraw. A space doesn’t have to be large, but it should be defined in some way. Lounge chairs or hanging plants create boundaries without feeling like barricades.  Open plan cubicles make it easy to provide defined workspace, personal break areas and places for shared equipment like copiers.

Image Source: Friant

Office Design Layout Best Practices

Office Design and Layout Best Practices

Setting up an office or re-designing an existing office design layout that creates efficiencies on the job and provides a welcoming atmosphere takes an understanding of corporate needs and individual behaviors. Here are the best practice principles that companies throughout Southern California can use to lay out an office.

What is the Purpose of Your Office?

Knowing the purpose of the workplace may seem obvious. Work has to get done, clients and customers serviced, and payroll met. The reason those functions exist is to support a company’s vision and mission.

A vision statement shows what a company aspires to become while a mission statement reveals how the organization carries out its daily tasks. Plan and design an office design layout that supports current work while allowing flexible options for future change.  A production company near downtown Los Angeles may plan to roll out a series that inspires residents of different races to work together in their communities, while an accounting firm in Glendale wants to be known as setting the highest possible standard of integrity.  Having a clear vision and mission statement and then making sure every employee understands why they come to work each day to a space that’s well-organized provides a competitive advantage. This boosts morale and creates a motivated workforce.

Now let’s dig deeper.

What is an Office Space?

Today’s digital world makes working remotely possible in many professional industries. But the work begins with a specific location. An office serves as a central hub of identity and communications for employees, vendors and clients.

A good example of identity is in today’s university systems. As you drive through Los Angeles, Orange Counties and the Inland Empire, you’ll notice signs for branch campuses of many different colleges and universities.  Although higher education is decentralized, the core values and mission come from a central location.  A franchise is also a good example of a central office with standards and values that’s replicated through like-minded locations.  One obvious way an office can form a clear identity is through its design and set up.

How Do Employees Use the Office?

Employees in different industries are going to use offices in their own unique ways. Knowing their needs becomes critical in creating an office design layout that serves everyone’s purpose.

For CPAs in an accounting firm who may want or need their individual space to focus and talk to clients, executive desks may be the best option. For marketing firms with designers, writers, and other creative professionals who have to come together to brainstorm and then complete their work, shared desks and workstations can work well.  Real estate brokerages have agents who are primarily out with buyers and sellers, but need an office space to copy papers, consult with their clients and sign contracts.  Know who’s in, who’s out and what percentage of time the space is needed. Understanding this will help you choose the workstations and private desks that fit your office needs.

Do Clients Use the Office?

Professional firms vary widely in how clients use an office. Small web design firms may go out 90% of the time to see clients while clinics and law firms will often have clients or possible new clients stop in.  Every office should have a multi-use space that can be comfortable for people stopping in and gatherings for staff. It can be a functional space for meetings and trainings and act as a marketing tool that convinces potential clients to do business with your company instead of a competitor.  Use a reception desk and guest chairs that invite someone to step in and sense a connection.

Office Atmosphere

Included in a well-planned office are the elements that contribute to the overall atmosphere like lighting, temperature and personal effects. Maximize Southern California’s abundant sunshine, use smart controls for energy efficiency, and create an area or defined zones for people to pull back from deadlines and the crush of work to be quiet and get refreshed.

Image Source: Friant

Easy Guide to Calculating Space for Best Office Layout

Easy Guide to Calculating Space for Best Office Layout

Trying to calculate how much space you need for your office layout is no easy task. Industry guidelines state that an office should have about 250 square feet per employee, but the amount of space that’s really needed can vary widely.  Let’s look at the basics below and assess the variables to measure.

Consider the Number of People

Determine how many people are impacted and their needs.  Individuals play different roles. How many are admin, sales, or in a technical capacity like engineering? A nonprofit organization will have admin and those designated to carry out the program.  List the number who need private offices and individual desks and how many will share workstations.  Also, decide if the number of people that will be working today will stay about the same for the near future and then decide if growth will be likely or if fewer people, especially in the case of freelance or temporary help.

Measure the Room and Open Space Sizes for Layout Planning

If existing rooms are permanent, then you can measure the available open space and how much room each department may need.  In a large open space, temporary rooms can easily be constructed using architectural walls and work spaces designated with today’s flexible cubicle systems.

Decide on Storage Space and Use

Storage can be done in a layered fashion. A designated central area, departmental storage with filing cabinets and personal storage at workstations and private offices are all options.  It’s easy to amass clutter so make sure that what’s needing stored has a lasting purpose. Just like people moving in or out, storage needs can change.

List Out the Overall Facilities

The space you need and have available is unique to you. There are variables that will certainly impact the footage needed for your optimal office layout.  Make sure to consider space and furnishings for:

  • Reception area – how much space do you need for a reception desk and guest chairs
  • Computer room to house servers and other related equipment
  • Break room – refrigerator, sink, cups, plates and table
  • Copy area and designated work area that salespeople may need to assemble collateral
  • Training area – will space be set aside for a designated training area?
  • Restrooms
  • First Aid and Emergency supplies – usually kept in a break room and restrooms for smaller companies

Have fun and be creative, and just make sure to plan your existing office space as effective as possible!

Read Also: Designing Your Office Space From Top-Down to Bottom-Up
Main Photo: Groupe Lacasse Upswing Chair
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Groupe Lacasse