So your organization needs to buy cubicles, and you’ve been tasked with the job. Awesome! (Cue sarcastic thumbs-up and over exaggerated smile.)
Realistically, for as much as we enjoy living and breathing the world of office furniture, we have worked with enough office administrators, facilities managers, and purchasing directors over the last 25 years to know that buying cubes is not the most awesome thing in the world. Without the right direction, this process can be almost as painful than a root canal.
We also know that this task is probably among a million others on your to-do list that are all screaming with importance. We hear you, and we understand, which is why we constantly offer resources to make your “job” of buying cubes easier so you can get back to work.
Below are hands-down the four most crucial elements of the cubicle buying process. These tips have been compiled after thousands of conversations we have had with people in your shoes. Rest assured that following these steps could save you precious time and unnecessary headaches.
One last thing – we do not dive into an obvious element of the process: Budget. Only you and your team can determine what you have to spend. Knowing that each company’s resource pool is different, we have built a product line ranging from basic to highly-customized, so we can work within any budget.
Read on to learn more about how to get your plan in place, and feel free to contact us with any questions.
Space Tip – How to be Accurate
Measuring the space needed for your cubes sounds easy: Just grab a tape measure and any co-worker with a pulse.
Here’s where people go wrong time and time again: They don’t look at the big picture.
Square footage is a key number of course, so you record that measurement for areas where cubicles will reside. But also take into consideration any offices, electrical poles, copier areas, or other “dead zones” where cubes won’t be deployed. Taking a few extra minutes to break the large office space into smaller areas will help you when it comes time to select cubicle configurations and sizes.
Also, if you are purchasing cubicles for a new office setting, it almost goes without saying that you should measure the new office space area, not your old one. You might be surprised at how many times people don’t do this and end up wasting time.
Quantity Tip – Counting the People
How many people work in your office? Better yet, how many people need cubicles?
Many times it takes a little more strategy than just going through the company directory and counting the number of co-workers you have. You may need to have conversations with the business owners or the human resources manager to see who actually needs a cubicle. For instance, a specific scenario to consider is related to sales personnel: Do they need personal cubes, or do they “work from home” or “operate remotely”?
Again, be sure to take into consideration whether your company is hiring. The last thing you need is to place an order, have cubes installed…and then have to go through the process again.
Requirements Tip – Determining Size and Features
We all know the line from “Office Space” – now you get to ask the question!
Determining the tasks your employees perform on a daily basis is extremely important because it will help you nail down the requirements for individual cubes such as size, height, storage, power requirements, and more.
Here are some things to consider:
- Privacy – Are your employees on the phone all day making calls, like telemarketers or inside sales representatives? If so, cubes with higher walls are ideal and more privacy work best for them and everyone within shouting distance.
- Storage – Cubicle dwellers working for organizations in healthcare and insurance, for example, have substantial amounts of paperwork, binders, and files. They may need multiple shelves, cabinets, and other storage compartments to support their work.
- Power Requirements – Is one outlet enough? Probably not if you employ developers or designers who have high-powered computers, monitors, and other gadgets. There are various cubicle options available for users of all types.
Timeframe Tip – Creating a Realistic Timeline
Nobody ever wants to hear this, but you should realistically start planning your cubicle deployment 30-90 days before you purchase. That’s a far cry from the “tomorrow” timeframe that our customers are often given, but it’s also not that crazy.
If you are replacing cubicles, give yourself a few weeks to measure your space, determine the quantity of cubes you need, and develop a game plan for cubicle needs based on your employees’ tasks. Finalizing space layout, cube configurations, and colors takes another week or 10 days. Delivery can be five or 10 days at least, especially if your vendor has a quick-ship program (like us). So right there you’re in the 45-day range.
And if you’re relocating your office, add another month for packing and moving. This is a big job – don’t rush it!
Developing a realistic timeline can also help you manage the expectations of the powers that be, which is can save you even more stress (we hope).