White Paper: Choosing Between Brand New, Cloned, Newly Remanufactured, Refurbished/Used, or New Office Cubicles.

When the first “Action Office” began sprouting in offices at the end of the Sixties, it arrived just in the nick of time: an upswing in the number of white collar workers and a corresponding rise in the price of office real estate made the office cubicle an ideal solution for office planners. Using the newfangled cubicles, they could accommodate their growing workforces easily using less floor space. The days of private offices for everyone were numbered; the cubicles were here to stay.

Today, office cubicles make up about $2.27 billion of office furniture sales in 2010, or about 27.4% of that year’s $8.3 billion total in office furniture sales, as per historical data compiled by the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association. Office planners are spoiled for choice: they can choose to buy brand-new cubicles from established brand names in the field, or they might take a chance on cloned cubicles manufactured in China. Alternatively, they might explore buying remanufactured systems furniture, or even go for used cubicles if that’s all their budget can afford.

Do you know what office cubicles are right for you? In the following paper, we’ll explore the different types of office cubicles, and what each type of office cubicle can deliver, in terms of features, advantages, and other perks. Download our white paper: Something Old, Something New, Something Green: How to Choose Between Brand New, Cloned, Newly Remanufactured, Refurbished/Used, or New Alternatives (PDF, 559KB).

New Guy, New Cubicles, New Challenges

Introducing the “fresh meat” into his new cubicles can be a big challenge, depending on the new guy you’ve hired. No sooner has that high-paid hire moved into his new Herman Miller digs when he shows his true colors: no easy-to-get-along, hard-working office bee, but a gossipy, lazy waste of space and resources. Yeah, integrating the new guy into his new cubicles can be a bit hit-and-miss.

Lay out a decent welcome. Before his new cubicles get broken in, make sure your new colleague feels welcome in your office.

“It doesn’t take a consultant or a think tank to understand the value of effectively integrating new employees into the workplace,” explains BureauPat at OhMyGov.com. “This integration should boost employee performance and possibly even minimize staff turnover, as employees are less likely to leave a welcoming environment.” Question is – are his new cubicles going to be perceived as a welcoming environment?

The New-Cubicles Look for Less

New cubicles are easy to get for any size workforce, but a middling office supply budget is hard to reconcile with a large requirement for new cubicles. If you have a large-ish office you’d like to stock with new office cubicles, that presents a problem.

The high cost of new cubicles, for one thing, can put a damper on your dreams of new office furniture domination. To take an example, new Herman Miller Eames shelves may cost you upward of $3,000 a unit. Extrapolate that to other new Herman Miller products, and you might end up spending a pretty penny and not yet furnish the whole office! (Imagine that – you blow your whole budget on new cubicles and you only have enough just for the sales department.)

The trick is knowing where to save costs – buying new cubicles manufactured from virgin resources may not be a wise move. But dumping new cubicles doesn’t mean that you compromise on quality – not all cost-conscious options are quality downgrades. Used cubicles can be just as effective – looks- and function-wise – as new office cubicles. You just have to know where to look.   (read more)

Checklist for the New Guy: Moving Into Your New Cubicles

So you’re the new guy, moving into a new job and new cubicles. Unless you’re the CEO’s son moving into the family business straight out of grad school, moving into new cubicles can be a frightening, intimidating process. With plenty of new faces, an unfamiliar hierarchy, and a completely different environment, easing into your new cubicles won’t be easy.

New cubicles don’t have to be a new challenge, though, if you follow the tips we lay out in the next few paragraphs.

Pay attention. Before you enter your new cubicles, you’ll probably undergo an orientation session with the HR department. Keep your ears open at this point: you want to reach your new cubicles with your head full of useful information. Find out how they do things in the office; this can give you a taste of the office politics and work environment in the space surrounding your new cubicles.

Ask questions. Wrack your brain for important, or less-than-important, questions that you may need to ask – in these few shining moments as the fresh guy in the new cubicles, you’re free to ask embarrassing questions without looking stupid. (This supervisor’s checklist might give you some ideas as to the questions you can pose.) You might ask questions about:

-    decorating and personalization rules for your new cubicles
-    employee benefits
-    sexual harassment policy
-    attendance policy
-    dress policy – casual Fridays