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Workstation Planning Guide

Workstation Dimensions Defined

Example: 8X6

The overall dimensions of a workstation are defined by the SPINE panel 1st. Then the RETURN panel.

The “8X6” means the SPINE panel is eight feet and the RETURN panel is six feet.

The “SPINE” aptly named because it’s the panel running down the center of a CLUSTER of workstations (more on clusters later). The spine is where the majority of the power and data is located, either at the base and or the middle of the panel or “BELT LINE”, which can be above or below the work surface.

Also shown is the WING panel. WING panels add privacy at the opening of the workstation, the example to the right shows two wing panels with a center opening. WING panels are common in workstation designs to provide prereferral sight privacy for “heads-down” workers like engineers and programmers. WING panels also add value to workstations because they open up more options to build various size workstations.

It’s interesting to note the dimension “8X6” is the interior dimension of the workstation. The exterior dimension includes the thickness of the connectors that attach the RETURN to the SPINE and/or the WING panel. This added dimension is also known as CREEP.


CREEP is the width of each panel connector added to the outside dimension of the work stations. The various widths are determined by the furniture manufacture and furniture series. Furniture panel system designed since the late 1990’s such as Herman Miller Canvas or Haworth Compose are 3″ thick and the CONNECTORS are the same as the width of the panel system.

The most popular panel system Herman Miller Action Office designed in 1967 is a 2″ think panel with a 3.5″ CREEP factor which is determined by the CONNECTORS.

As you can see below the outside dimension of the 8X6 is 7″ larger; 8′ – 7″ including the two CONNECTORS which is another important detail for BUYERS to consider. CONNECTORS fasten the two panels in the SPINE called IN-LINE, PANEL-PANEL, or DRAW RODS. The CONNECTOR in the SPINE of the 4 PACK shown is called a “4-WAY“. The SPINE to RETURN  and RETURN to WING CONNECTORS are “2-WAY” and/or 3-WAY” depending on the number of panels.

How many workstations will it take?

Example: 6X8

A helpful hint for SELLERS listing workstation quantity available is to provide more information in the description that define how many SHARED and how many SINGLE workstations you have in total. This is also a good rule for BUYERS to check and make sure there’s enough workstations in the inventory to build the exact configuration in your office layout.

The SPINE panels shown in these examples are six feet and contain all of the power and data for each CLUSTER. The RETURN panels are eight feet and are non powered. The WING panel non-powered as well.

The SPINE panel is SHARED by workstations on both sides 6X8 workstations. They are configured in a group or CLUSTER of six also known as a 6 PACK.  Something that needs to be taken into consideration when counting the total number of workstations is the quantity of SHARED and SINGLE ROW workstations.

Workstations designed in a SINGLE ROW require 1.5 times as many spine panels as workstations configured in SHARED CLUSTERS. Designed in packs of four, six, eight and up to as many as twelve in very large facilities.

SINGLE ROW 6X8 Typical Workstation

You can see the potential issue (in the example shown below) for a SELLER creating a listing for 12 workstations that are all configured in SHARED CLUSTERS of six. A BUYER looking for 12 workstations with a layout of workstations along the exterior walls in a single row will be missing SPINE panels for three workstations.


You can increase the value of your workstations by 30% or more. In fact most BUYERS will only consider an inventory of workstations with an accurate AS-BUILT DRAWING. If your workstations have been knocked down, the value of is now little if any without and AS-BUILT drawing and a accurate inventory. The good news is you can hire RESEAT to CERTIFY your workstations. We can update your current layout by providing us with a the AUTO CAD file of your current AS-BUILT DRAWING.


Schedule a Project Manager help liquidate your office

Will They Fit?

Now that you’re up to speed with CREEP of CLUSTERS and SHARED vs SINGLE workstations, how do you know the inventory you’re considering will fit in your office?


Furniture Layout

RESEAT  design support team provides you with furniture space planning by building partnerships with office furniture dealers across the country.

Reach out to us to find out how it works.

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