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What Is the Difference Between a Cubicle and a Workstation?

In general terms, the difference between a cubicle and a workstation is one of size, openness, and range of options. Your cubicle in a work environment tends to be more closed off for a semblance of privacy; although this, of course, varies from company to company. A workstation is definitely the more open alternative and is more closely-associated with a fast-paced, collaborative effort.

The Cubicle and the Beginnings of the Modern Office

The office cubicle first hit the scene about half-a-century ago and was welcomed by business managers and CEOs as the reason for greater in-office efficiency. It saved space and created an entire office culture adopted by companies all around the world.

Because of the options that furniture companies such as PVI bring to businesses in the Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia, and West Virginia areas, today the cubicle is a much more dynamic piece of equipment. You can furnish an office building to look like an outright cubicle farm or spruce it up a bit with personalized cubicles that add a touch of openness with windows instead of solid barriers to the outside environment.

The Rise of the Workstation

The belated growth of the workstation beside the cubicle can probably be attributed to the tech giants. The much more open nature of these new work areas was a sign of the progression of a more collaborative office culture, as young billionaires tried to simulate the way they worked in late-night college brainstorming sessions.

The workstation is touted to foster creativity and engagement because everyone can see what everyone else is doing—or at the very least, they can see that everyone else is working. This might also help to motivate them in their own work; although motivated individuals would find little difference between this and the more private cubicle.

Regardless,  PVI has brand name options for cubicles and workstations in a variety of styles so you can tailor them to fit your particular office culture—because this is what matters most. Not every company is a tech company, and cubicles may work better in environments where there’s a premium on individual performance. PVI also offers used office furniture for businesses on a budget!

Individual or Collective Office Culture

When considering which style to get, assess your office culture. Are structure and privacy central to productivity in the kind of industry you and your employees work in? If so, consider cubicles arranged around a central hub, with little preference given to open spaces. If information security is also very important—such as proprietary software, designs, etc.—then open workstations are not a good idea. You want to limit the flow of information, and private cubicles serve that function well.

On the other hand, the open workstation can be adapted to almost any layout where you want a collaborative team effort. The lack of clearly-defined walls tends to encourage people to work together, or to brainstorm more easily. For example, idle conversation during break times can develop into novel ideas for a new product, or a solution to an old problem—in the right kind of open environment. This is PVI Office Furniture Plus’ contribution to the growing tech space, where software companies that depend on teamwork have attested to the power of the workstation.

New & Used Office Furniture in DC, MD, VA

PVI has every kind of material available for office furniture—just drop by our Frederick, Maryland warehouse if you’re in the area. One of our office planning experts can help you with your comprehensive office design. Our professionals will provide scale drawings of potential setups for your office, suggest furnishings within your budget range and then help you execute your vision for your office. Upgrade your office in style, with an eye toward increased efficiency. Contact us online or give us a call 877-320-9731!

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