Make the most out of your office space with team workstations that create a collaborative and productive work environment. These multi-person workstations, also known as benching systems, provide closeness and proximity for seamless communication, while giving each member a space of their own for individual work that feels comfortable and spacious.
What is a Team Workstation?
Team workstations are designed to keep members of a team close together for increased workflow and uninterrupted communication. A team workstation or benching system is usually constructed as one large table that can be divided into smaller individual stations using mountable panels and various dividers. Tech, such as laptops and computer monitors also help create separation between members. It can also be established using storage furniture, such as credenzas. Team workstations can also be made of many smaller desks that are grouped together in a pod. These workstations provide a very open concept feel and situate team members close together so they can share ideas, discuss projects, and more at a moment’s notice.
What are the Benefits of Team Workstations?
In most offices or workplaces, creating a space where collaboration and teamwork can thrive is essential for productivity and function. Team workstations have the ability to enhance teamwork by allowing for uninterrupted flow between individuals within a certain team or department. This proximity helps build group dynamics and develop strong working relationships, strengthening the team as a whole.
Efficient Use of Office Space
In addition to their effects on team dynamics and collaboration, team workstations can transform entire areas, specially in open-concept offices, by efficiently fitting multiple workstations in a small amount of square footage. This space-saving benefit can help businesses with smaller offices accommodate their team, or free up space for more workstations in bigger spaces.
Cost-Effective and Budget-Friendly
While team benching systems and workstations still provide plenty of individual space to each member of the team, they are marginally smaller than some traditional free-standing workstations, such as cubicles. This limits the amount of supporting furniture needed in the space, like large storage systems. Team workstations also save many offices from purchasing individual desk units for each member of their team.
Modern Look and Feel
In some industries, the cubicle approach to workstations is still highly sought after but in others, cubicles may appear too constricting and closed off. Team workstations or benching systems are usually designed to be simple and streamlined, adding a clean and modern aesthetic to any workplace. In addition to their design, this open-concept approach is often associated with tech companies, which further supports the contemporary and modern feel.
What are the Different Types of Team Workstations?
Team workstations and benching systems come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and layouts. The right team workstation for your office will depend on the size of your space, the size of your team, and the nature of work they are involved in.
Straight or Linear Team Workstations
Straight or linear workstations are common layouts when it comes to team workstations. With this type of workstation furniture, each station gets one rectangular desk, and team members sit side by side. These are usually accompanied with a mobile pedestal for personal storage in each spot.
A straight or linear team workstation is great for open concept offices because they can accommodate several workstations in a way that is spatially efficient and doesn’t significantly close the space to natural light. To add privacy to each workstation, you can install desk-mounted privacy panels and modesty panels of varying heights and lengths.
In terms of functionality and workflow, the straight or linear team workstation may limit the amount of desk space each person has. That’s why team workstations with this layout work best with computer-based work where little to no physical paperwork is involved.
L-Shape Team Workstations
L-shape team workstations come in a variety of layouts and take form in many different ways. Some may look like a straight or linear team workstation, but with the addition of a storage credenza on one side. In addition to expanding available storage, this storage credenza acts as a desk return, creating the L-Shape and adding surface area to the workstation.
Another common way L-shape team workstations are formed is in pods that connect on both sides of each desk, creating a cross or X shape. These workstations feature a desk and desk return that form the L-shape and are often paired with one or two pedestals for personal storage. With this layout, users typically work from the inner corner of their desk, placing their computer, monitors, and other tech needed to carry out day-to-day tasks in that corner as well. Since each spot accommodates a bigger desk, L-shape team workstations often take up more surface area in comparison to straight or linear ones, making it more challenging to fit larger teams in one open space.
These types of workstations are beneficial for people whose jobs are computer-based, but also involve paperwork. Not only does the L-shape provide more surface area to stay organized throughout the day, but it also allows for more storage, such as pedestals, credenzas, and hutches, for office necessities and filing paperwork. For added privacy and separation, desk or floor mounted panels are a great way to achieve semi-private workstations that users can feel comfortable in.
Height-Adjustable Team Workstations
Ergonomics is a popular criterion when it comes to workstation furniture. Many office workers prefer a workspace that is ergonomically friendly for health and comfort. In addition to back pain and muscle fatigue, there are many known health concerns associated with prolonged hours at a seated position. Meanwhile, many business owners know that ergonomics is a key contributor to performance, productivity, and overall employee satisfaction.
When it comes to ergonomic workstation furniture, a height-adjustable standing desk plays a big role in achieving a workstation that’s good for the body. At a seated position, height-adjustable desks allow users to customize the height of their desk for a comfortable setting that is best suited for their unique body. Most stationary desks come in a standard height of 29.5 inches, which can be too tall for shorter people or too short for taller people.
Height-adjustable standing desks are mostly known for their ability to let office workers stand during their workday, preventing the aforementioned negative effects of prolonged sitting. Height-adjustable desks come in electric or manual forms. Electric height-adjustable desks allow you to move your desk up and down with the press of a button. Many also have programmable settings that let you save your favourite desk heights, making the transition from sit to stand smooth and effortless. Manual height-adjustable desks come with a crank that you can wind left or right to go up or down.
Height-adjustable team workstations typically look like straight or linear benching systems, except each station is equipped with an individual standing desk so that each user can decide when they want to sit or stand. They can also be used in L-shape team workstations using L-shape height-adjustable desks or regular height-adjustable desks where the return or storage credenza doesn’t move with the desk and stays stationary at seated height.
Workstations as Touchdown Stations
Touchdown stations are commonly used for hot desking, a term used to describe the use of communal workspaces that can be used by anyone at a moment’s notice. Like coworking offices, touchdown stations can help create flexible spaces for contract, remote, or hybrid workers who are only in the office part-time or less. Touchdown stations are great for laptop work. Some are even set up to include monitors, keyboards, and a mouse that easily connect to a laptop for a more comfortable place to work. With touchdown stations, you can open up your office to all members of your team and give them a space to work for those times they can’t work from home.
Team workstations and benching systems are a great way to incorporate touchdown stations in your open office. Due to their small footprint, many stations can be made available without sacrificing a large amount of office square footage. Because these stations are not assigned to anyone in particular and can be used by a variety of people, personal storage is no longer a priority.
Storage and Other Important Workstation Furniture
When it comes to personal storage for team workstations, there are many options. Mobile pedestals are small and compact enough to fit under desks, while still leaving enough legroom. They give each workstation just enough space to store stationery, file paperwork, and store personal items. Mobile pedestals feature castors that make movement easy, for quick rearrangement when needed.
As previously mentioned, storage credenzas can be a vital part of L-shape workstations for their ability to add desk surface area and storage to each workstation in the team pod or benching system. Credenzas are available in many different forms. From open shelving to drawer systems and cabinets, credenzas can address just about every storage need you may have for your workstation.
Office chairs are another important piece of workstation furniture that contributes to the overall functionality of the team workspace. To ensure the comfort and health of your team members, it’s important to incorporate ergonomics where you can. In addition to health and comfort, ergonomically-friendly workstations can help improve morale, performance, and productivity. When you shop for office chairs, not only is the style and overall design important, but it’s also vital that the chair is ergonomically-friendly. It should include features such as height-adjustment settings, seat and tilt control, lumbar and back support, adjustable arm rests, and breathable fabric.
Adding Privacy in Office Workstations
Creating division between workstations can help employees feel like they have a space of their own. Adding privacy can also help them feel more comfortable and settled in. Mountable privacy and modesty panels usually come with frosted glass or acrylic to help disrupt sight lines. They also come in a few height options depending on how much privacy you want to create between workspaces. Keep in mind that a height that’s too tall may disrupt the space’s open concept feel, while a panel that is too short may do very little to add privacy to a space. A panel made from fabric will help limit sound travel and contribute to a quieter work environment where office workers can focus.
Create Modular Workstations with Panel Systems
Panel systems are different from mountable panels because they extend all the way to the floor, providing more privacy. Many panel systems are made with fabric materials that help improve acoustics and act as a sound barrier. Panel systems are also available in a variety of lengths and heights that help achieve a level of privacy that works for your office, while accommodating as many people as you need. In addition to benching systems, panels can be used for workstations where team members are still seated together in a pod, but have their own workstations within the bench. Team workstations that use panel systems as separation can sometimes take shape as cubicles, depending on how many panels are used for each workstation.
The customizable nature of panel systems helps create modular workstations where an individual workstation can be added or removed depending on the size and shape of your office space. These panel systems can also be disassembled, reassembled, and reconfigured to adapt to changing workplace needs, adding to the flexibility that modular workstations provide.