Space Planning for Office Cubicles

Business essentials should be within an arm's reach.
Business essentials should be within an arm's reach. (Image: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

A cubicled office limits the amount of space and flexibility you have for working. On top of the small area, you face a more exposed space that allows co-workers and others who pass by to see what you are doing. The arrangement of items within the cubicle allows you to maximize the available space and achieve at least some privacy.


Your desktop provides your primary workspace and needs consideration to maximize the space potential. The desktop in most cubicles runs along two walls in an L shape, providing a large area for working and storage. The computer often goes in the corner to allow for more room for the monitor. Other essentials that you use on a regular basis to do your job should be nearby. Your phone is a prime example. A rack or shelving systems for files and paperwork helps you keep hard copies of work documents organized and handy. A separate organizer for office supplies keeps them at hand. The ends of the desktops that you don't use frequently work well for storage of books and other materials you access less frequently. Remember to leave you desk area open for writing and working off of your computer.


The amount and type of cabinetry varies from one cube to the next, but planning out the use of the space can help you keep your work items organized. At least one filing drawer is common in cubicles. Use hanging files and dividers to keep this drawer organized. Other drawers give you space for personal items and office supplies. Some cubicles have upper storage bins or shelving. Use this space for books, binders and other information sources for work.

Wall Space

The walls of the cubicle often go unused. If you're running short on space in your cubicle, use the walls for certain items. Hang a small white board on the cubicle wall to use for planning or list making to help you complete your work tasks. The walls also work well for charts or documents that you refer to frequently. Sensitive documents should not be displayed on the walls since they are left open to anyone who passes by. You may also be able to get an extra shelf for your wall. Talk to the HR department to check on this possibility.

Arrangement Tips

When working in a small space, clutter is often a problem. Keep your exposed surfaces in the cubicle free of clutter. A few pictures or personal items make the cubicle feel cluttered, but loading the area with items reduces the usable work space. The ergonomics of the work space is also a consideration. Your chair support and adjustment, as well as your desktop arrangement, affect your comfort level. You can also prevent certain injuries by paying attention to ergonomics. Adjusting the height of the chair allows you to achieve a height that is comfortable for working at the desktop. Adjust your computer and other desktop tools so you can easily and comfortably use them.

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