In the call center, workstations play an important role in employee productivity. Call center furniture must be designed for comfort as well as to foster communication and collaboration. One of the recent trends in call center furniture design has been the return of cluster workstations, also known as circular core stations or pods, which have a circular setup that allows agents to work in a team environment and easily achieve the goals of the call center.
Recently, there has been increased interest in this type of workstation that is due to an increased interest in call center design. Some call centers are looking for an outside of the box solution for their call center furniture, a station that looks different from the typical designs.
Interior Concepts, a manufacturer of call center furniture, shared the benefits of cluster workstations. A cluster workstation is configured so agents face into the center of the workstations. With this workstation setup, agents may feel that their workstation give them their own sense of space since they look into the center of the workstation, and not the face of another agent. This type of workstation is for a person that is looking for a unique design, not a typical cookie cutter workstation. A typical station offer maximized floor space, a cluster workstation provides more privacy and for each agent.
A main benefit of a cluster design is an agent having his or her own sense of space. Also, the cluster type design allows an agent to not look into the face of another agent while working. It incorporates more worksurface area as well so an agent will have more desk space.
One key aspect of call center operations that is overlooked is the traffic flow of the floor. Interior Concepts suggests taking into account the building entrance and the location of common areas, an idea of supervisor to agent ratio as well as workstation design before beginning to plan the space. An effective call center floor plan should have aisle space for supervisors to reach agents when they need assistance, paths to training rooms and access to break areas. Also, the tasks being performed on the floor should be taken into consideration and the furniture designed accordingly. If the furniture is designed for the individual call center, then it will enhance the productivity of the center.
In terms of ergonomic accessories, Interior Concepts says the flat screen monitor arm works well with this station design. Proper ergonomic positioning is sitting with the back supported by the chair while reclining slightly, and arms in the correct position to use the keyboard tray. In this type of workstation, users tend to place the monitor further away because the worksurfaces can be deeper, so using a flat screen monitor arm will allow the monitor to be properly placed.
There are four cluster workstation designs, although many variations are available within these designs such as standing height, panel height variations, panel material options, accessory and storage options. Interior Concepts suggests popular cluster designs such as a six person cluster, five person cluster, five person clusters + one supervisor, and a three person cluster.
Edited by Brooke Neuman