Are you hiring more staff and need to add a couple of new workstations for your expanding team? Or perhaps you have outgrown your space and you are planning on moving to a new office? If either of these situations sounds like you, you likely are wondering… what does a workstation cost?
Well, it depends, but I can give you a range to expect as well as shed some light on what causes the price to vary.
Since workstations are so modular and flexible, the price of a workstation is heavily dependent on the final configuration you choose. The price for a straight benching application is going to be significantly different than the price for a large, U-shaped workstation with standing height panels.
The Typical Workstation
There is a multitude of ways to configure a workstation these days, but for this post, I am going to stick to the layout I see most often in our customers’ offices: A 6’x6’ L-shaped workstation with panels that provide seated visual privacy (cannot see over the panels while seated).
How Much Does a Workstation Cost?
A safe range to budget for your 6’x6’ workstations would be approximately $1800-$5000 per workstation.
This is a relatively large range but unfortunately, since workstations can be so customizable it is quite difficult to narrow that range any further without sitting down with you to start answering the following questions:
- How open/closed do you want the workstation to be? This question helps us determine the number of necessary panels and how high they need to be.
- What kind of panel finishes are you interested in? Are you considering glass or storage unit toppers? Can the panels be solid upholstery or are you planning on incorporating other surfaces?
- How much storage do you want to incorporate into the workstation?
- Will any of the worksurfaces be height adjustable?
What Affects the Cost of a Workstation?
The cost of a workstation can vary significantly depending on many factors. The two main factors in your control that most commonly impact the price of a workstation configuration are your choice of finishes and the amount of storage built into the configuration.
Selecting the right panel height can be a difficult decision. High, solid panels can make users feel isolated and hidden away but provide maximum privacy. Short panels reduce privacy (both visual and auditory) and can expose users to more distractions but also allows for natural light to reach users, as well as encouraging collaboration and discussion between users. There is no one-size-fits-all solution and the best option depends on the needs and work styles of your team.
Naturally, as higher panels require more materials, adding more (or taller) panels will also increase your overall price per workstation.
As is a common trend when discussing the cost of office furniture, finish selection can play a significant role in determining how much you end up paying for your configuration.
Here are a couple of the common upgrades that I many new customers may not realize can quickly run up the cost of your workstation(s):
- Upgrading the panels from a single colour fabric to laminate or veneer
- Built-in writeable whiteboard surfaces on the panels
- Adding a glass (clear, glazed or framed) to the top of the panel for a little additional auditory privacy while maintaining the same open visual feel
While these upgrades may well help you create a workstation that you better enjoy working in every day, they will also certainly increase the bottom line on your invoice.
The amount of storage included is another major factor in the final cost of a workstation.
As with many things, the more you want to add, the more it’s likely to cost you. Before committing to a particular configuration, we suggest you take the opportunity to evaluate just how much storage you (and your team) really need at your workstation.
A few of the questions we always end up asking customers to determine how much storage they really need to have built into their workstations are:
- Are you looking for a more minimalist configuration that includes two work surfaces, panels and one mobile pedestal for storage (my own personal layout)? Or do you want it to include overhead storage, a credenza, a mobile pedestal and a storage tower?
- Do you need to have a space for storing binders at your desk or can you use a shared filing cabinet or high-density storage unit instead?
- Do you need that storage tower for your coat and umbrella or would it be more efficient for the office to share one centrally located closed?
Height-Adjustable Work Surfaces
There are many potential health, wellness and productivity reasons why you may want to consider adding a height-adjustable (or sit to stand) work surface to each workstation. However, the mechanisms and legs for a sit to stand surface are more expensive than those for a traditional fixed surface so adding these will certainly increase your cost for each station.
If you find that building a height-adjustable surface into each workstation is stretching the budget too far, one possible workaround is to provide users with the option of adding a sit-stand converter to their desk. These converters can be retrofit onto almost any work surface to make the monitor and keyboard height-adjustable and typically cost less than a fully height-adjustable surface.
What This Means for a Full Office Reno
It’s important to keep in mind that your workstation may still need a task chair, monitor arm and keyboard tray. As those products are beyond the scope of this article I haven’t included their price in our estimate, but we do have a page that summarizes the cost of furniture overall if you want to read further.
When planning a project as large as a renovation or move of your full office it is best to start the planning and budgeting process as early as possible. Your team in accounting may need to have significantly different workstation configurations than your sales team. Having time to really examine a user’s daily tasks can help to lower the average workstation cost across the project.
By bringing an office furniture dealership or space planner on board before you have begun your move or renovation we can also help you design a furniture configuration that works with the base building layout and minimizes any extra costs such as power and data access poles.
Ready to Take the Next Step?
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what to expect (and budget) for your office addition, expansion or renovation but if you still have questions about buying office furniture, take a look at our Office Furniture Buyer’s Guide. It answers many of the questions we are most frequently asked such as:
- How long does it take to buy/receive my office furniture?
- What are the best ways to compare furniture brands or resellers?
- How do office furniture warranties work? What do they include?
If you feel like you are ready to take the next step and start looking at some product configurations, you can fill out this form for a 100 percent free office furniture consultation.
Director of Marketing & Inbound Business Development