Office Cubicles Or Benching – What’s The Difference?
Cubicles – The first specified workspace on the scene back in the 1960’s, cubicles have been ostracized and hated ever since. Interestingly, the creator of the cubicle, Robert Propst, hated what his initial vision became. He wanted the office cubicle to be open at 120 degrees and looking a lot like the mixed-use office looks today, but instead, corporate America saw space-saving dollar signs when closing them up to create boxes.
Fast-forward to today, and the cubicle has shown, in practice, that they are a great benefit in positions that demand quiet and a high levels of concentration. These fields include Accounting, Banking, Engineering, just to name a few.
Today’s cubicle is quite different from those in the 1970’s – 1990’s and may feature lower walls, glass panes to let in natural light and a sit-stand height adjustable desk. Less storage space is needed due to less paperwork so the cubicle has grown smaller at just 36 sq. ft. per person.
Benching – Imagine a big gathering with a large table and that’s the gist of benching. The collaborative office, or open office is built using bench desking or table desking. Benching starts with a long table and often includes partitions to give each employee a sense of space. Data cabling can be a bit of a challenge, but that’s why ROSI has their own cabling division. Adding partitions to each individual space gives employees a sense of space.
Coming in at a mere 15 sq. ft. per person, companies are embracing the monetary savings along with the open and collaborative workspace. However, before embracing only the benching style workspace, it’s important that companies recognize the need for mixed-use space that gives employees the kind of environment required for each specific type of work.
Examples of work style and space:
Cubicles Ideal For:
- Data analysis
- High-level phone calls
Benching Ideal For:
- Project teams
- Transient Workers
- Hot Desking
- Co-Working Space
- Nomadic workspace
As you can see, neither workspace is ideal for everyone so the most important take-away is to develop many workspaces that provide the type of environment needed so employees can do their best work.
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