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    What are Desking and Benching Office Systems?

    Categories: Desking and Benching

    Ever since the minimalist open office movement of the 1950s, the open office set up has become popular amongst American businesses. Adopted from the German design, these layouts were meant to spur interaction and creativity between co-workers. What was once a perceived ‘fad’ has exploded in popularity after big companies in Silicon Valley began using the style.

    The key point of the open office architecture revolves around the types of desks used and their positioning within the office space. Each system has advantages and disadvantages in the work place, but it is up to you to decide which matches your culture the best.

    Benching Set-Ups

    Benching style layouts are the most common setting when anyone thinks of an open office style layout. It features long rows of desks where employees all share long desk spaces with no walls or space separation. The purpose of this layout is to encourage office collaboration and spontaneously creativity.

    Desking and Benching

    If you have a start-up company where ideas are constantly being shared from one department to the other, a benching style set up may help by providing an open environment for all areas of the company to communicate on big projects together.

    There is less of a break down when you have to email three separate departments to hear comments on a new marketing campaign idea. Instead, you can turn to the co-workers near you and discuss ideas quickly.

    Without the temptation of distractions, employees can feel more focused and productive in this workspace. Workers feed off of each other’s energy and they have a sense of belonging, as the entire office works together to accomplish the same goals.


    • Easier collaboration for smaller companies with less employees
    • Start-ups can streamline ideas and ensure quick flow of information
    • Productivity increases as employees have easy access to information and co-workers
    • Cheaper to install and maintain.
    • All files are kept under desks, leading to less clutter.


    • Not ideal for larger companies. Too many employees will lead to a reduction in productivity within departments.
    • Harder to re-design or move around.
    • Less versatile - Once benches are set in place, there are few options with how to space out employees.

    Desking Office Layouts

    Desking office systems are often a more versatile way to organize the office, as you can group workers together in smaller clusters of work areas. While each of these work areas may be separate, the employees within each space will have easy access to one another.

    Desking and Benching

    This set-up works well for larger companies with big departments, where inter-department communication is key. With bigger groups of employees, it is more beneficial to encourage the collaboration within departments, leaving department heads to spread information company-wide.


    • Great for large companies or those with open spaces that need a little structure.
    • Very versatile — layouts can change easily based on department needs or company restructuring.


    • More expensive than desks with the added costs of wall installations.
    • Not ideal for smaller companies, as the cluster set-up may isolate too many key departments.

    Check out more desking and benching layouts, to see if one of these is right for your office.

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