Freestanding modular office furniture (also referred to as contemporary office furniture) is different from workstation or cubicle furniture. The difference is that freestanding furniture is not panel-mounted (attached to panels). However, this type of freestanding furniture can be used in a “bullpen" situation, which is a workspace for several people surrounded by panels for privacy.
New office furniture can be a major purchase for your company, and you should consider all options before making a final decision.
Some of the advantages of modular office furniture are:
Cost Savings - The obvious savings is in the cost of the panels. However, there will also be a substantial savings on installation charges.
Easily Moved/Reconfigured - If you have a maintenance staff, they can handle moving modular office furniture around as little, if any, knockdown and reassembly is required. Think about this when you are in the early decision-making stages.
Additional Pieces - If you think you may want to add additional furniture or accessory pieces, find out what pieces can be ordered later. Ask if there is any chance of that particular furniture line being discontinued.
Many Choices - There are so many options available in style, materials, finishes, etc. Every major furniture manufacturer has their own version of modular office furniture. If you are shopping for a few pieces and know what you want, you can shop at your local office supply store or catalog. However, if you are considering a major purchase I suggest that you go directly to your local office furniture dealership. If you are using an architectural or design firm, they can make suggestions also.
Flexibility - Since flexibility is usually a consideration when using modular furniture, you may want to consider incorporating some mobile furniture pieces into your configuration.
This type of office furniture encourages team work and is particularly effective when staff shares equipment, files, or other office essentials.
About the Author: Janet Vogel, who is retired from the office furniture industry, is now the owner of Homemade Gift Basket Ideas which she created to supplement her retirement income