Need to reconfigure an office? Modular partitions let you create cubicles, private offices and even conference rooms that can be moved around at a moment’s notice. Clients can do the adjustments themselves or bring you back to optimize the layout. Customization is easy, quick and painless, a promising combination for clients on a budget.
“Older systems are bulky, heavy and tough to take apart,” explains Ian Borden, a sales representative for Arnold’s Office Furniture, which manufactures the SUNLINE cubicle system. “Modular systems are easy to take apart and move into different rooms or offices if you need to. We just had a project where it was arranged in a straight row against the wall and they wanted to change that into a plus-shaped configuration in the center of the room, so we sent out a few different panels and connecting posts and they assembled it themselves.”
Key Benefits of Movable Partitions
In addition to rapid reconfigurability, modular partitions are gaining popularity for several reasons:
- Better acoustics. Open plan workspaces are notoriously noisy, and it’s difficult to remediate the noise issue without installing permanent walls. Use glass or fabric partitions to cut down on the noise in open workspaces and experiment with different layouts until you get it just right, explains manufacturer IMT Modular Partitions.
- Quick and easy remodeling. Switch out some of the partition panels for different materials and colors to update spaces easily. Changing the fabric colors on the partitions is an easy way to visually distinguish teams, departments or neighborhoods to help with wayfinding.
- More natural light. Glass partitions let light penetrate further into the building’s core instead of restricting it to the perimeter. Use clear glass panels at the top and frosted glass or fabric at the bottom to maximize daylight while still protecting each person’s privacy.
How to Choose Movable Partitions
Specify the right partitions by assessing your client’s needs. Many movable partition manufacturers offer different panel types and accessories depending on typical work tasks. VARIDESK’s QuickFlex Walls, for example, come in clear glass, frosted glass and whiteboard versions that are easy to pop out and exchange when a new employee moves in.
Survey your client’s employees to see what they need to do their jobs well, then specify accessories to go with the panels depending on typical work tasks. Besides the whiteboard versions of partitions, you can often bundle filing cabinets, work surfaces, railing, shelving, sit-stand desks and other add-ons. Use extra panels and railings to create storage areas or assist with navigation.
“We use them to create hallways throughout our office because we have a big open floor plan,” explains Andrea McLaughlin, director of public relations for VARIDESK, which offers the QuickFlex Walls movable partition system.
Panel height is another important consideration, Borden explains. Stack panels closer to the ceiling to make private offices or opt for a lower version. “The standard is about 53 inches high, but we have 2-, 3- and 4-foot panels so that you can make any dimension and height that you want,” Borden adds.
The best part? If your client discovers after the installation that you should have chosen a different color, height or texture, a change is just a few minutes away. They can pop out the wrong panel and slide the new one into place without breaking a sweat.
Read next: Top 5 Benefits of Wayfinding Design