The Office Cubicle’s Comeback

Woman working at sit-to-stand cubicle

Out with the New and In with the Old:

If you’ve been keeping up with trends in office furniture for the past few years, you’ve probably noticed the decline in popularity of the office cubicle. Whether they’re looking to keep up with what’s “in” or simply trying to keep their budget low, office managers have been opting for benching systems over cubicles for almost the past decade. But why?

Benching stations in a modern workspace.
An example of the benching system’s sleek design and open concept.

The Pros and Cons:

Proponents of benching stations argue that it offers more opportunity for collaboration between employees as well as cutting down on costs. Plus, because it’s such a new idea, benching systems usually look very stylish. That’s why you’re more likely to see benching in Silicon Valley offices and the like.

Traditional cubicle setup in an office.
An example of the more traditional cubicle–still stylish, but more private than benching.

But benching’s detractors believe that the cons outweigh its pros. They’re finding that instead of “collaborating” about work, employees are more likely to discuss last night’s football game or what they’re doing this weekend. Similarly, things can get loud and distracting without cubicle walls separating people–not to mention the lack of privacy or personal space.

As these problems with benching systems begin to get in the way of workplace productivity, companies are beginning the switch back to the traditional cubicle. We can expect the big names in office furniture–Herman Miller, Steelcase, and Haworth–to start releasing new and improved cubicle designs to try to maintain the stylish looks of benching without losing the privacy expected from cubicles.

In the end, the type of workstation that’s best for your office will depend on your feelings about benching versus cubicles. If you like what both have to offer, we can design something in between the two styles for you. So get in contact with us! Let us design the perfect office space for you today.