In the post-COVID-19 world, in which more and more people around the country are returning to offices, employers are taking a more critical look at what office infrastructure is necessary to compete – and succeed.
In the latter half of the last century, and the beginning years of this one, offices were turning towards more open floor plans and forsaking cubicles. Not all of them – but many.
But today, some businesses are rethinking cubicles thanks in part to the privacy they offer, not to mention the social distancing that’s built into the design.
But why is this happening? And moreover, if you’re an office manager tasked with an objective to re-outfit an office interior, do refurbished cubicles make sense for your model?
Behind the Resurgence in Popularity of the Office Cubicle
For some, cubicles have become symbolically associated with everything negative about the gray, drear, inert corporate environment. This is due in part to pop culture and not entirely deserved, but it is what it is.
As a result, and probably also as a result of cost-savings associated with selling them off, many offices embraced open plans that seemed to foster better collaboration and (potentially) higher employee morale. Some offices even ushered in shared workstations with open arms.
Recent years have changed all that. First, there were the mass layoffs associated with COVID-19, and then there was the shift towards remote work.
This puts enough of a strain on those working in office environments, and in many industries, remote work is here to stay.
But for those that are returning to the office, they’re experiencing a paradigm shift. The open floor plan still has its place but it’s not as popular as it once was.
In the minds of some workers, cubicles are now, ironically, viewed as a vintage luxury. The concept of privacy is scarce in offices that embrace open floor plans, and in the wake of the recent pandemic, workers crave privacy – and their space – more than ever.
There’s also a benefit for employers, in some instances. Cubicles are cost-effective and modular, and in some hybrid environments, it makes sense to use cubicles where workstations can potentially be shared (although that does necessitate additional sterilization protocols).
On top of that, cubicles help alleviate concerns about close contact with others in settings in which social distancing is carefully observed.
So, in an interesting twist, some offices are doing an about-face and reconsidering the once moribund notion of the office cubicle.
That’s a high-level look at why cubicles are returning to the scene. A very high-level look, honestly – but it shows the bigger picture.
Now, if your office is reconsidering them, do you want to shell out the full cost of new cubicles or investigate the advantages of refurbished cubicles?
Refurbished Cubicles As an Alternative to New Cubicles
For those of you that are totally redoing the interior of your office space, and are considering using cubicles, you absolutely have the option of buying new ones and setting up the floor plan exactly according to your requirements.
But one of the biggest catches is price. Cubicles are not cheap. In fact, neither are any office accessories or furniture, for that matter. New cubicles from Steelcase or Herman Miller (to name just two) can cost upwards of several thousand dollars each.
That makes price the first and biggest consideration – and benefit – of the prospect of buying refurbished cubicles. Refurbished office furniture, and office cubicles, for that matter, is often substantially more affordable than new.
This only scratches the surface of the value of refurbished and pre-owned. Think of office furniture and accessories like cars. They have a really high sticker price, but as soon as you “use” them, the value drops substantially, even if the condition remains excellent.
Buying refurbished enables you to skip paying a premium for what is effectively prestige. Are you buying prestige or are you buying cubicles?
The flipside to this is that they hold their value well, after the fact. Depreciation between categorically “new” and “pre-owned” office furniture and cubicles may be stark, but after that initial drop, pre-owned office supplies hold their value well.
And, all of our pre-owned furniture is sold in good to excellent condition. If you take care of what you buy from us, you may be able to sell it in the future for a surprisingly close amount to what you paid, helping you recover the expense and front it towards future projects.
Another argument is this: will you, or your employees, honestly be able to tell if the cubicles are new or used, anyway? The quality of well-kept and refurbished cubicles is often practically indistinguishable from new ones. So what’s the point of paying more for new?
Buying refurbished instead of new also helps you skirt lead times. Sometimes manufacturers don’t have the capacity to meet large orders. If you’re buying used, what you’re buying already exists. The only lead time is shipping – not manufacturing.
Also, used furniture is often the environmentally friendly option. Manufacturing can be lean, but there’s no leaner process than making use of what already exists. Buying used also helps keep perfectly good office furniture and supplies out of landfills.
Buying refurbished cubicles from a respected seller of pre-owned office furniture like Transfer Enterprises also carries the value of security. We’re well-established in the industry, with a respected reputation and many happy customers. We also clean and sanitize all of our furniture prior to re-labeling it for sale.
Contact Us to Take on Your Project
These are some of the best reasons that office cubicles are making a comeback, as well as why refurbished cubicles may constitute a sounder investment than new ones.
If you’re interested in learning more about what’s available in terms of pre-owned and refurbished cubicles, check out the previous link. You can also get in touch with us directly at 860-645-9090.
We’ll help you with a design project, too, if you’re in need of those services. We’ve carried out design projects for offices in a wide range of industries and would be glad to offer you the same. Get in touch with us today for more information.