How to Purchase Durable Call Center Cubicles
There are many considerations when purchasing call center furniture, in particular cubicles, which range from design, space utilization, ergonomics, durability, and warranty. The call center space needs to be warm and inviting, ergonomically friendly, and designed to last.
Specifically, durability is important because call center agents handle a steady stream of incoming phone calls and emails, meaning that they rarely have a chance to step away from their desk. Many centers are also multi-shift, 24/7 operations, and when cubicles face almost constant usage, the furniture needs to be durable.
Below are ten tips to make sure that your furniture purchase looks good for years to come.
Purchase call center furniture with a Lifetime Warranty. A company that stands behind their product should be able to offer extended warranties. Also ask for customer testimonials, these will provide the level of comfort that you are seeking with your purchase.
Check to see if the furniture meets the ANSI/BIFMA Safety and Performance Standards. ANSI is the American National Standards Institute, and BIFMA is the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association.
Panel Material Selections
Laminate and melamine (vertical grade laminate) are nice options because they wipe down easily, and resist staining. If you choose to go with fabric panels on the cubicles for acoustics or tackability, ask to see an actual sample and look at the thickness and color. A quality fabric in a darker color will hold up better over time opposed to a fabric in a lighter color.
Ease of Panel Replacement
Choose a furniture system with easily replaceable panels, so if the panels are damaged intentionally or otherwise, it will be an easy fix. Easily replaceable panels mean that panels can be replaced without disrupting the entire system, and one panel can be replaced vs. an entire systems furniture wall.
Electronic Walk Through Capabilities
Select a furniture vendor that has the software and capability to provide not only CAD drawings but also the ability to provide electronic walk-throughs of the space. This is advanced technology can create shorter lead times, and leaves nothing to the imagination in terms of station design and space utilization. If a private telemarketing firm operates the call center, this technology can be used for them to present the space to their customers.
Electronic Project Records
Work with a company that keeps electronic records for all of your projects. Reconfigurations and additions down the line will be a simple process. Also if a repair needs to be made down the line, identifying the specific part will be easy, so replacement parts will be a quick fix.
Consider a furniture vendor that is knowledgeable in ergonomics. Carpel-tunnel injuries/lost employee time is extremely expensive and can be minimized or prevented. A small investment in ergonomics can provide an extraordinary return on that investment.
Select Chairs with Arms
Consider chairs with arms when selecting seating for your center. In addition to the ergonomic considerations, chairs with arms make it a bit easier for agents to support themselves when moving in and out of their stations, as opposed to using the furniture or keyboard tray. The arms on the chairs will help to reduce wear on the furniture over time.
Call Center Experience
Choose to do business with a company that has years of experience in the call center market. Call center environments have specific design needs opposed to typical office environments. Work with people that have the market knowledge to help design a more functional space.
Cost Per Station Considerations
Sometimes a furniture purchasing decision is made based on hypothetically saving a few dollars per cubicle. Comfortable and quality furniture can impact employee satisfaction, worker comfort and productivity, and employee retention. These factors are a much greater expense than furniture. Other considerations, such as durability and extended warranties, will provide an additional cost savings down the line.