Steelcase makes a compelling case for benching in the workplace as an alternative to both cubicle and desk style workstations. The most obvious difference between benches and cubicles is the fact that there are no panels involved. If you want to create a very social working environment and assigned tasks don’t tend to require a high level of concentration, you may be able to forgo cubicles. But what’s the big difference between desks and benches?
First, there are the space savings. Steelcase estimates a 22-26% reduction in the amount of space required for benches compared to other workstations. Worktables can be ganged together to create one long worksurface with a single spine for data and power distribution. Desks are often L or U shaped – designs that can hog a lot of room. But benches are always rectangles. This means employees will have less storage space and less total square inches of work surface with a benching solution. But they will still have plenty of elbow room to give them a sense of “personal space” without feeling closed in.
This type of workstation is highly flexible since it can be expanded or rearranged in minutes. With today’s wireless and paperless technology, that’s a definite plus. You can find the company’s 360 whitepaper on the topic here to discover more pros and cons.