Dogbone cubicles are a flexible configuration that encourages employee collaboration. Trends in office furniture style and layout have changed radically in the last ten years. Cubicles with high walls that gave employees quiet and privacy have gone out the window in favor of an open plan office layout which encourages interdepartmental collaboration between employees.
The dogbone configuration is a practical answer to companies’ desire that employees collaborate with each other. The building block for a dogbone cubicle configuration is a pod of three boomerang-shaped 120-degree worksurfaces joined together, sometimes with added worksurfaces between them, usually with divider walls (panels) between them. The dividers may be a cubicle panel that goes all the way to the floor. When two of these pods are connected, they become a “dogbone” shape. This basic dogbone cubicle configuration accommodates six people. By using shorter or taller divider panels, the degree of privacy vs. collaboration changes. The higher the divider panels, the more privacy and less interaction between neighbors. The transparency of the panels also affects the degree of privacy. Clear glass stacker panels, for example, allow a line-of-sight between adjacent and opposite people.
Dogbone collaborative desks vary in the exact dimensions and shape of the “boomerang, the design and high of the divider panels, and whether or not there is an additional meeting area at the ends of the pods for collaboration. In this configuration, there is a semi-circle meeting area at the end of one of the pods only.
The real fun comes in when multiple dogbone workstations are installed in an office. Your office space can be filled with beautiful organic dogbone collaborative workstations, allowing people to easily work with two to four nearby co-workers in their dog bone, as well as roll over to talk to people in nearby dogbones!
As you can see in the photos, there are decisions to be made when selecting dogbone collaborative cubicles.
Divider panels height: When dogbone open plan cubicles are designed using cubicle panels – like Herman Miller AO2 – you need to choose which divider height you want. Typical divider heights are heights are 32, 39, 47, 53, 62, 67, and 85 inches high but the most common heights used for dog bone cubicles are 39, 47 or 53 inches.
What kind of storage do you need? There are pedestals that fit under the worksurfaces which can be stationary or mobile. These pedestals can have padding on them so they can serve as seat for visiting guests. Overhead storage is convenient but reduces collaboration by blocking your line of vision with people behind the overhead. However, if vocal privacy is helpful, this becomes an asset.
Fabrics and finishes: Add some design choices for divider panel colors, worksurface colors and trim colors.
By using high cubicle panels and adding overhead storage, the amount of collaboration between people working on this dogbone workstation is less than in a dogbone with low dividers. Two people on each side can easily collaborate with each other but communication with people on the opposite side or at the ends is curtailed.
This drawing shows an organic office layout, with connnected dog bone cubicles creating an overall collaborative, open-plan work environment. If you want to have a little dogbone fun, you can buy dogbone shaped paper clips to match your dogbone collaborative cubicle. And if you have a dog-friendly office, these can really make a statement!