Squeezing as many workers into a space as possible may seem like the best way to make use of expensive office real estate. However, there are other considerations besides square footage that make proper space planning essential from a budgeting and productivity standpoint. For one thing, the way you arrange a cubicle system affects the amount of wiring/cabling required. The orientation of the workstations within the office can increase or decrease the effectiveness of natural lighting and the flow of air. The direction an employee faces inside the cube also impacts the perceived size and privacy of the space provided.
Here are a few commonly selected cubicle configurations along with the perks of each layout:
In this example from the Compose line by Haworth, all employees are facing in one direction. Ventilation can be provided from a single angle (say, above and behind) to serve the entire group. Four workstations are combined to create a very stable structure.
These two U-shaped York workstations from Knoll share a central seating area to save space. Since the workers are facing away from each other, there is a greater sense of privacy. Storage can be shared or separate depending on the needs of the employees.
One of the most popular cubicle configurations for efficient electrical and data wiring is the spine setup. Workers can sit facing each other along a single work table for greatest space savings. Panels and workstations can be added along the spine to create separate cubicles in a less collaboration-oriented environment.
The Resolve system from Herman Miller is an example of one of the newer cubicle layout designs. It uses 120 degree joints to create honeycomb shaped workstations. These give employees a sense of having more room while actually conserving space. They can be set up along a zig-zag spine or arranged in clusters.