Offices can be warm and inviting spaces, but they can also be cold and boring spaces if not carefully planned. It takes real skill to balance soft surfaces in offices with hygienic and public-friendly non-porous materials.
With the addition of suitable upholstery to office privacy panels, you can have the best of all worlds.
5 Great Examples of Upholstered Office Privacy Panels
1. Complete Work Pod Privacy Screen
With high sides and a complete near-360-degree wrap-around design, this privacy screen becomes a full work pod. The organic shape of this wrap-around privacy screen is ideal for ensuring complete privacy and quiet in a busy shared workspace.
2. Multi-Functional Privacy Screens
These highly functional dual-purpose privacy screens are an ideal office addition. Modular padded cubes are mounted on wheels, allowing the office occupant to turn the screens to hide or show the contents of the cube, where jackets and coats can be hung or suitcases stored.
Only one of the sides is left open, so you can hide your private stuff inside the cubes, closing the access against the office wall.
3. Wrap Around Privacy Screens Double Workstations
A clever twist on the idea of sharing office walls with your colleagues is this wrap-around privacy screen design. The twin system of a central middle screen and arched outer screens creates a peaceful bubble for two employees to work in.
Instead of feeling like you’re completely isolated, this screen still shares with your colleague, but your clients will also feel considered by you, as the screens also cut down on noise and eavesdropping.
4. Textured and Smooth Dual Privacy Screens
Get the best of both worlds by combining smooth areas for easy cleaning with textured areas to provide warmth and acoustic management.
5. Best Mini Fabric Desk Screen
A mini screen can also help keep things private without needing a large space footprint. If you’re a little strapped for space, this screen type is an ideal office extension. The screen simply clamps to the desk, and the use of fabric and padding creates a soft break from a bare wall or your colleague’s back.
Benefits of Upholstery on Privacy Panels for Offices
Upholstering privacy panels offer some benefits beyond the beauty of the finished result. Here are some other benefits to upholstering your office privacy panels that you may not even have considered.
- Acoustic Muting
The fabric and padding used in upholstery absorb sound waves, muting conversations and improving privacy in different office cubicles. If you run a consultation-based business, this is a must for your open-plan office.
Privacy panels with upholstered finishes help keep discussions in each cubicle, ensure background noise is minimized, and reduce echoes that could make it difficult for your employees to be heard over the phone.
- Climate Control
Warm, padded sections on your privacy screens can also help regulate the office temperature with psychological and actual warmth. Use padded upholstered screens to block off airflow or sunlight if your office has too much natural light. Likewise, you can use these panels to bring warmth to the office in bright colors and glowing textures.
- Decor Element
Upholstery is also a strong decor element that can contribute to the overall design of your office space. With great texture, colors, and patterns, you can create any effect you desire, making the workplace a pleasure to be in.
- Psychological Impact
Humans crave soft textures and a sense of warmth. In the cold corporate world, an office that is all high-gloss sterile surfaces can become quite depressing. Break up the monotony of stainless steel, glass, and laminate with some tasteful upholstered privacy panels to bring the tactile back into the workplace.
- Company Identity
Without advertising your company logo everywhere, you can use different designs, colors, and style elements to remind clients and employees about your company name, logo, and motto with great quality upholstered privacy screens. Contrast the clean lines of laminate panels with curved, organic padded fabric sections.
Considerations of Upholstery on Privacy Panels for Offices
Unfortunately, there are a few considerations to keep in mind before you jump in and upholster all your privacy panels.
- Cleaning Requirements
Where smooth non-porous screens are easy to clean with a simple wipe, your upholstered privacy screens will require a different approach when cleaning. Brushing with a soft upholstery brush and weekly vacuuming will help keep the upholstery textiles free of dust and allergens.
Monthly deep cleaning with a steam cleaner or carpet washer may help keep your screens looking and smelling fresh.
- Stains Need Instant Care
If you walk down the passage at work, trip, and spill half your cappuccino on the privacy screen next to you, it’s not a train smash when it’s a wipeable surface. However, if it’s an upholstered surface, you must act quickly to clean up the spill before it becomes a stain.
Keeping a bottle with premixed upholstery cleaner is a great idea to ensure your padded upholstery screens can be cleaned as soon as a spill happens.
- Soaks Up Smells
Upholstery, and especially padding, absorb smells instantly. An office where there’s a leaky air con unit that drips on the screens will quickly begin to smell fishy. Likewise, if someone smokes near a screen, it will continue smelling of smoke for many weeks.
- Upholstery Wears Down
Most upholstery fabrics are rated with a certain rub resistance. The average is 15,000-25,000 double rubs for light commercial use fabrics. However, since you’re not going to be sitting on this fabric, you can potentially use a domestic quality upholstery fabric with a rating of 10,000-15,000 double rubs.
The real catch is that upholstery fabric with a raised surface texture will rub through much more easily, especially in areas where people touch the screens frequently. This can lead to ugly areas with a sheen from the wear on the fabric.
Tips When Reupholstering Office Privacy Panels
When you decide to revamp your existing office privacy screens, you must consider a few things to ensure a lasting product.
When you add padding, you improve the sound dampening qualities of the upholstered screen; however, this also makes the screen more absorbent of dust particles and allergens. Finding the middle ground on what helps lower ambient sounds and doesn’t act like an environmental sponge is important.
It may be necessary to use trimmings to hide fixtures of the screens, or you can go bold and use oversized fixtures like bolts and screws to attach different parts of the screens.
- High Touch Zones
Privacy screens usually have areas where people tend to touch them such as when they enter an office cubicle or touch the screen to move it into position. These high-touch areas become soiled much more quickly, and the fabric will also have more “rub” from friction at being touched.
To help reduce wear in these areas, it’s a good idea to add a non-porous “touch panel” that is safe for touching and can be frequently cleaned or wiped for sanitizing purposes. Adding stainless steel plates or perspex cutouts can really help prolong the life of your upholstered privacy screens.
- High UV Exposure Fabrics
If privacy screens are also used to screen off large windows and are exposed to lots of UV damage, it’s a great idea to go with an outdoor fabric like Sunbrella that is UV-resistant to prevent fading and melting of fibers (with synthetic fabrics).
Best Fabrics to Use for Upholstery on Privacy Screens
High-resistance fabrics with a rub rating of at least 25,000 rubs are ideal for upholstering office privacy screens. Fabrics with a tight weave or a synthetic surface make for great privacy screen fabrics. Additionally, many of these can be wiped or brushed to restore the pile and remove surface particles.
Consider these fabric options for your privacy screens:
The Final Screen Thoughts
Privacy screens are a great addition to any office space, but instead of going for smooth glossy surfaces that will increase the ambient noise factor, opt for a great upholstered screen instead. Boost company image with great designs, matching colors, and exciting patterns. It’s a great way to give your existing screens a makeover too. Read all about residential dividing screens on the Kovi blog too.