Using office cubicles is a way to use your available space most efficiently. They can be as simple as a few self-supported panels arranged around a desk or as a multi-person unit consisting of many individual cubicles.
The cost of office cubicles varies depending on their sophistication. High-end booths using materials such as sold wood or slate sell from $5,000-$10,000 each. However, most standard cubicle pricing ranges from $500-$2,500. You can buy them singly, but most companies want booths in groups of modular furniture units; a set of four averages around $5,000-$6,000.
A major benefit is that a cubicle gives employees as much privacy as they need to do their job, using the least possible space. Teams that normally work together can have business cubicle designs allowing easy communication. In contrast, a call center needs soundproofed cubicles isolating the user from everyone else. You can even construct a manager’s office, effectively an office cubicle with doors and windows.
Types of Cubicles & Costs
When you start looking for office cubicle systems, you find many types available to suit different office environments.
This type consists of freestanding walls arranged around an existing desk. Moreover, they can be moved easily and rearranged as you need them. Office partitions are also ideal for creating rooms within rooms or separating a waiting area from the rest of the room. Partition panels cost around $100 for a basic 4ft x 6ft panel. More expensive versions sell for about $1,200 for a three-panel corner arrangement of 5ft x 4ft each, incorporating high-level partial windows, whiteboards, and other features.
This type consists of an L-shaped workstation with wall panels. These provide plenty of space for a permanently connected desktop computer and room for paperwork. The majority of modern office cubicles are of this type, commonly sized at 5ft x 6ft and 8ft x 8ft. Also, depending on size, the cheapest costs around $1,000, increasing to about $3,000.
This employee only needs a desk surrounded by three soundproof cubicle walls, typically around 4ft wide and 3ft deep. Call-center units like these are an individual workspace or a block of multiple cubicles to suit multiple employees.
Usually, buying cubicles for individual use costs $400-$1,300. In comparison, a block of multiple booths costs $1,000-$7,000, depending on features and size.
Panel-mounted cubicles have the desk, shelves, and filing spaces connected to the cubicle’s walls. They are very popular as you can modify them to suit just about any office. Furthermore, you can change features depending on requirements. Typical panel-mounted cubicles cost around $1,000 upwards depending on size, components, and materials.
Because each unit’s design depends on integrated features, materials, and how you use them, the cost of a typical office cubicle solution sometimes varies by many thousands of dollars.
However, it’s possible to highlight a general pricing structure to explain how much typical examples cost.
- You can expect to pay $500-$10,000 per cubicle, depending on the materials and features.
- Typically, a standard 8ft x 8ft cubicle will cost you $1,300-$2,500.
- Suppose you integrate electric sockets and add a pedestal file cabinet and mid-height panels. In that case, the finished article costs on average $1,500-$2,000.
- Put four of these together into a block of multiple units. It’ll cost $4,500-$6,000.
- Finally, a top-end cubicle made from real wood might cost $5000-$13,000.
Remember, all costs mentioned in this article don’t include delivery or installation. You must negotiate this separately with the manufacturer. Furthermore, each state adds an appropriate tax depending on where you are.
Buying an office cubicle isn’t only about the purchase. You also have to consider assembly and installation costs. You can use the manufacturer’s installation crew. But, if you want something cheaper, consider collecting the units privately and hiring a local team to do the job.
Moreover, suppose you buy used office cubicles, hoping to save money. In that case, you might face higher installation costs when trying to adapt an existing configuration into your office space.
Usually, installation costs increase with the number of units you buy. Moreover, you should also consider data and power cable installation. Including these, office cubicle installation prices start at $100 but can reach $1,000 each.
Cubicle Cost Factors
Some factors will influence the final quote or price you receive from business cubicle suppliers. These include:
Material of Panels
We can make office furniture panels from various materials, such as steel, aluminum, real wood, and engineered wood. They also have multiple finishes such as fabric, cork, wood veneer, and laminate.
Some panels have integrated features such as glass windows, doors, whiteboards, and chalkboards.
Typical features affecting the cubicle layout and therefore the price include:
- Wall height – Short walls allow team members to communicate while still giving privacy. In comparison, tall walls enable complete privacy and soundproofing.
- Storage space – Do your employees need to store papers or hardcopy documents? If so, factor in the correct number of shelves, drawers, and filing cabinets. Don’t forget; they also need somewhere to work with the papers. Therefore, provide enough desk space. Another consideration is a place for coats and backpacks. Having these dumped on the floor makes the office look untidy, causes tripping hazards, and obstructs fire exits.
- Phone & Data connection – Most companies use a hardwired ethernet connection for their equipment. Ensure your IT department can make that happen once the cubicles arrive. Also, individual phones are essential. These can either be separate units or combined with the computers. Make sure you can route cables safely beneath the workstation.
- Soundproofing – If too many people talk on the phone, it’s worthwhile pricing in the cost of soundproofed cubicle walls. These are especially important in a call center.
- Electricity – Most desks need an electrical hook-up. You have computer and monitor equipment, lights, and many other common workplace appliances. Ensure each workstation has the facility to install an anti-surge protector, with all wires hidden underneath the cubicle desk A qualified and certified electrician must install the electrical supply rather than drape extension cables over the desk or floor.
Height & Number of Panels
The required panel height depends on who will use them. If it’s part of a team that regularly communicates with each other, consider using low-level panels. Furthermore, if someone regularly speaks on the phone, they need soundproofing from others in the room. In this case, use high-level panels with extra soundproofing.
The number of panels depends on whereabouts in the room the cubicle stands. If you can use existing walls, you reduce the total bill.
It’s a good idea to design the layout on paper or use a drawing software package. Then, decide what you need before ordering.
Shape & Size of Cubicle
The cubicle’s size and shape depend on what activities you expect within its confines. Sizes vary from 3ft x 3ft to 12ft x 12ft. But, the possible combinations within these limits are modular and limited by the size of standard filing cabinets, wall panels, and shelf units. The designs also consider the optimum space needed for each person and use ergonomic principles to specify workspace.
What does the cubicle’s user do? Do they use a computer most of the time? Or are they mainly paper pushers? They might even spend all day talking on the phone.
If you can answer these questions, you go a long way to deciding how much space each person needs.
Generally, call center employees require 3ft x 3ft or 2ft x 4ft, with one file cabinet. Other types, such as administrators, need more space, usually 6ft x 6ft or 5ft x 5ft with a shelf and one or two file cabinets.
Remember, each cubicle doesn’t have to be the same size. You can mix and match to suit the number of people, size and shape of the room, and many other factors.
New vs. used cubicles
You also have a choice to buy new, used, and refurbished cubicles. Each type has its pros and cons, which you must take into account.
The manufacturer builds new cubicles exactly to your business’s specifications. This includes size, configuration, finish, and color. In comparison, for a pre-owned unit, you buy what’s available.
However, new cubicles cost a lot more than used and refurbished. You might find that a new unit measuring 8ft x 8ft costs $4,000 new. In contrast, a used and refurbished booth might cost up to $1,500.
Another company has previously owned these. Used units come directly from the old company to yours. In comparison, a refurbished cubicle goes to an intermediate business that cleans and tidies it up before selling it to you. Generally, they limit their refurbishment to a steam clean and repaint the panels.
Generally, you take what’s available. Therefore your office layout won’t be exactly what you require, and you won’t have an optimum configuration. Consequently, you might have to buy additional components. It also means it’s difficult to buy, in the future, more units that match.
They are, however, the cheaper option. And, even though it’s a lower cost and not brand new perfect, your company can demonstrate its sustainability to clients and employees.
Overall, your budget and chance of company expansion in the future will govern the decision to buy new, used, or refurbished cubicles.
Cubicles are a way of dividing space in a large room to suit many employees. They’re cheaper to buy and install than separate offices. Furthermore, if designed correctly, they will accommodate many more workers than using offices. Moreover, most people don’t need individual offices to work efficiently. Instead, they require their own space, with enough privacy to focus on their work, combined with ease of communication with their team. And, suppose a particular employee needs a quiet area. In that case, install high soundproof wall panels.
Cubicles consist of a few different components common to most units. Therefore, as long as the pieces are present, the manufacturer can produce cubicle kits to speed up manufacture, improve marketing and make delivery and installation more efficient.
The common components included in all cubicles include:
- Wall panels.
- Desk surfaces.
Optional components include:
- Filing cabinets.
And, by giving the customer a choice of sizes, layouts, and finishing colors, you can mix and match to suit most configurations.
Cubicles have three basic heights governed by the wall panels, with each type being more expensive than the previous one.
- Low – 42 inches high. These provide better communication among workers and allow supervisors to oversee their teams.
- Medium – 54 inches high. These provide more privacy than low panels. But still allow teams to communicate.
- Tall – 60 inches or higher. These provide maximum privacy and offer better noise reduction.
Customers can also buy cubicle kits to adapt wall panels to the height that suits them by adding or removing panel tiles.
And, of course, there’s a range of different component materials. These allow the customer to match materials and colors to those of the company logo.
Office Cubicle Benefits
Cubicles in an office room offer many benefits to the employer:
- Versatile – You can buy booths in many styles and configurations. The different features allow the designer to choose what’s best for the office team.
- Privacy – Open plan offices have become very popular in recent years. However, many people feel intimidated and don’t work to their optimum in a fully open environment. Cubicles offer a middle ground between the two extremes.
- Efficiency – Cubicles encourage a team workspace. This method is more cost-effective than remodeling an area into individual offices. For example, you can probably fit around six cubicles into the same space as an office.
- Heating and ventilation – In the old days, individual offices needed separate heating and ventilation. In contrast, open-plan offices with cubicles only need centralized HVAC.
- Personal space – Cubicles provide employees with their own space. You can keep teams together, but everyone has a place to personalize with family photos, their coffee mug, and various mementos.
Before approaching a dealer, decide what you want from them. Most manufacturers and dealers offer a design service; However, it’s still a good idea to know what you want.
The size of your office determines the cubicle layout and how many you can fit into the area. In turn, this also determines how many workers you can fit in. An office design isn’t only about squeezing in as many bodies as possible. You must also:
- Provide room to walk around.
- Don’t contravene fire codes by having cubicles too close together.
- Don’t put people in dead space corners or under the stairs. Places like these don’t help productivity.
- Allow unimpeded access to emergency exits from each cubicle.
- Put the water cooler and coffee maker within easy reach of each person.
- Make room for a communal printer and copier. Moreover, don’t forget other shared items such as paper-shredders, archives, etc.
- Ensure all parts of the room have an equal temperature and ventilation.
- Provide places for coats and bags.
You might find buying a unit containing multiple cubicles is more cost-effective than several individual booths.
As well as the shared archive storage, each person needs a filing cabinet or some shelves. Everyone accumulates paper, pens, and stapler, and it’s good to put everything away at the close of the day. Provide enough storage space within easy reach of each person’s seat.
New and used
Is money a bit tight at present? Or, do you expect to move into larger premises soon? If so, consider buying pre-owned rather than new cubicles. If you choose the used option, ensure you don’t need additional components to create a workable design. Finally, whatever you do, agree on a maximum budget with the manufacturer so they know what you can afford.
Number of staff
This is probably obvious, but there’s no point spending thousands of dollars to fill the office space with cubicles if:
- You haven’t enough staff to fill the space. Choose a different configuration.
- You have too many people than seats. Find larger premises or fire someone!
Different workers require varying amounts of space. In the design process, calculate the area needed per person and where they will sit. People who use a computer all day won’t need as much space as those who shuffle paper, use reference books, or read design plans.
Always decide beforehand how much your company can afford to spend on the office cubicles. You should collaborate with the designers to see what configuration you’re getting for the money. If you aren’t happy, tell them so. If they still can’t help, choose another design company.
Delivery and Installation Costs
Besides the price of the cubicle units, don’t forget to include delivery and installation costs. Check with the supplier what these are and who is responsible for them. Ensure you have a quote for this work as they aren’t cheap.
Office Cubicles FAQ
Why are cubicles so expensive?
Most cubicles have a high price because designers spend a long time choosing the right materials, fitted together in the best structural and ergonomic configuration.
They contain glass, wood, metal, laminates, and electrical components. Most desktops support up to 1,000lbs. Moreover, the cubicle panels absorb a lot of sound, even if they aren’t specifically soundproofed.
However, probably the biggest reason for the expense is the brand name. Many high-end cubicle manufacturers are household names, such as Knoll and Miller. Furthermore, they use well-known architects and furniture designers such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Charles Eames. All companies with high prices.
How do you divide office space?
You should divide office space depending on your employees and company requirements: that means comfort, efficiency, and high productivity.
An open-plan office is great for providing plenty of light and air, enhancing teamwork collaboration, and optimizing floor space. However, there are also disadvantages such as lack of privacy, visual distractions, and background noise, especially if someone talks loudly on the phone. Cubicles provide the halfway point that gives a degree of soundproofing, some personal space but keeps the feeling of space, light, and air.
The ways to configure an office to make the best use of floor space include:
- Use mobile whiteboards as dividers between zones, allowing teams to gather and discuss strategy.
- A U-shaped desk provides a large work area while using less floor space. It also includes storage units without being cluttered.
- You can use open shelving as a simple divider or partition between you and your neighbor. They also provide light and enhance the spaciousness.
- Desktop privacy panels or cubicle wall panels provide privacy between open-plan desks.
- Partition walls made from glass give plenty of light in the work area yet provide soundproofing. A manager’s office made from glass panels encourages communication and makes the senior colleague more approachable.
Perhaps your company needs to optimize its office space while simultaneously making employees’ work conditions as pleasant as possible. If so, consider individual office cubicles. Suppose you need help designing the configuration and finding the office cubicle prices. In that case, we can help find professional companies that can guide you through the process one step at a time.
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