How to make office cubicles the coolest feature in your office | WindowArt

We have written about office design trends that embrace open and collaborative workplaces before. It can be said that it all began with Google’s futurological thinking about their office environment. They have created a workspace that inspires both collaboration and productivity by incorporating the best of open plan and segregated design.

While open plan office designs may successfully be implemented in many office environments, there are some that simply cannot expect their employees to operate in a workplace sans privacy, partitions and designated workstations. Realistically, the best way to create designated workstations  to offer your employees some privacy, is through the use of cubicles.

Meet Muriel. She manages the daily operations of a 24/7 call centre for an online gambling company. The call centre operators handle incoming queries from online gambling patrons from all over the world. This means long working hours filled with queries and complaints from clients who require discretion and a personalised style of service.

It is possible to update office cubicles to inspire comfort and productivity.

When Muriel joined the company, the offices had recently moved into premises that were previously used as a call centre but with an outdated interior design. The office was filled with beige, felt-covered cubicles. The employees were arriving to an environment that offered them the office equivalent of a cardboard box. Luckily, Muriel was given a budget to revamp the interior of the offices.

First order of this project was to get rid of the beige, felt-covered hardwood office cubicles entirely and replace them with glass partitions. These allowed for more natural light to stream through the office from the surrounding windows. Further, the staff work different shifts and sometimes throughout the night, so creating a relaxed lounge area that would shut out the din of the office was necessary. Muriel created this area with large panes of glass and simultaneously broke through the dry walling in the kitchen and dining areas and replaced it with panes of glass too.

Glass office cubicles allow staff to feel less isolated but to still retain some privacy.

Considering the nature of the work the employees conduct, a certain amount of privacy was still necessary. However, glass was the optimal material to use in order to break the feeling of being isolated in an office cubicle.

She treated all of the glass installations with frosting to give the demarcated areas privacy.  Muriel chose to use frosted vinyl decals to frost all the glass in the office as she was able to request that the supplier created frosted decals that incorporated the company’s logo. This allowed for excellent corporate branding of the space.

The use of glass and the incorporation of plants can add colour and vibrancy to an office cubicle.

It is a well-known fact that plants are welcome additions to any indoor environment and the workplace is no different.

Plants are known to have positive effects on the psyche by reducing tension and anxiety as well as fatigue and even depression. After some research into plants that will happily co-exist in the cubicle type environment with the staff, Muriel placed a plant on every third desk. This selection of Aloes, Cacti and Succulents added colour and energy into the environment.

With glass frosted panes as the partitions, the colour of the plants showed through onto the desks that don’t have a plant.

A design element, such as frosted vinyl decals, can keep the environment cool.

Lastly, Muriel thought ahead about the pending warm summer months. With the office residing on the top floor of the building, she knew that it would become very hot without the use of an air conditioner.

Air conditioners, whether used to heat or cool a space, can cause illness – especially when the area houses so many people. In an effort to keep her staff complement cool in the coming summer months, Muriel used frosted window vinyl – as it offered insulation – on the windows in the office too.

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