Glossary of Commonly Used Terms

In order to help you navigate the systems furniture world, much of the common lingo that’s used in our field is sprinkled throughout the pages on our website and marketing materials. To help you understand the specific terms that we use, we’ve created a mini-dictionary of the most common words you’ll likely encounter when dealing with systems furniture. And if you don’t find it here, by all means, ask us to explain.

  • 1/2 High Shelf End – A panel that encloses the end of a shelf and prevents books, magazines, and other items from falling off.
  • Acoustical – Mainly refers to dividers, movable walls, and cubicle partitions that help to absorb or control sound; acoustical office furnishings are particularly useful in noisy workplaces and where employees need quiet work areas.
  • Articulating – Usually refers to headrests, arm rests, keyboard trays, and other furniture components that can be ergonomically adjusted to suit a user’s posture or positioning preferences.
  • Base Feed - A flexible, electrical conduit that hardwires to the building and plugs into the furniture.
  • Beltline Power - An access point located directly above the worksurface providing users with faster access to power, data and communication connections, emphasizing a plug-and-play usability.
  • Bin Box - An overhead storage cabinet with opening and closing doors.
  • CAD - Is an acronym for Computer Aided Design software application; AutoCAD is a specific brand of CAD. We use a sister to AutoCAD which is called Giza and is fully interchangeable with AutoCAD. We use this CAD software when configuring your office’s new workstation layout giving you the ability to see your project floor plan before we begin working. Our software even allows us to show your space in 3D, giving you a more unique prospective than a simple 2D plan.
  • Cantilever - A bracket that mounts to office panel systems in order to support the worksurface therefore eliminating the need for support legs.
  • Cloth Covered Hard – Hard surfaces, such as cubicle partitions, which are upholstered with cloth to enhance style or even to impart an acoustical effect.
  • Data Pole - A service pole that contains no electrical or data wires. It is a means, however, to get those items from the ceiling to the workstations and, like the power pole, is typically used for furniture that is islanded within an office.
  • Divider – A panel or set of panels that is used to divide two or more work areas from one another. Commonly, dividers are used in an office to create separate cubicles.
  • Duplex Outlet – An electrical outlet that can be added to cubicles, teaming stations, and other types of workstations and can accommodate two plugs; these are especially useful for workstations that require several electronic devices, such as computers, computer monitors, desktop lamps, and more.
  • Floor Supporting Ped – A piece of office furniture, usually a file cabinet, that is used to help support a panel, typically the worksurface of a cubicle.
  • Free-Standing Partition – A lightweight panel that usually has a tubular gray or chrome frame with “T” legs at the bottom that allow it to stand on its own.
  • Hanging Ped – A short file cabinet that is hung from under a worksurface and does not touch the floor.
  • Jumpers – An electrical component used to connect two powered panels together.
  • Keyboard Drawer – A tray designed for holding computer keyboards that is usually affixed under a work surface and can easily glide in and out.
  • Keyboard Tray – A piece of equipment that is usually affixed under a work desk and can hold a keyboard and mouse. Keyboard trays are usually fully articulating to provide optimal, ergonomic comfort for the user.
  • Kick Plates – Same as raceway covers.
  • Low-Voltage Cabling - Otherwise known as data and telephone wires, these wires run from the phone/server room to the individual workstation.
  • Panels – Individual office furniture components that make up cubicles and workstations, such as dividers, partitions, worksurfaces, or shelving.
  • Ped (or Pedestal) - A drawer unit, sometimes called a file cabinet, located beneath the worksurface and is used to house files and other miscellaneous personal items.
  • Power Pole - A pole that is used to connect power and low-voltage cabling above the ceiling to furniture that is islanded within an open office.
  • Power Whips – A power source that connects an office building’s electrical supply to systems office furniture, such as cubicles and workstations.
  • Raceway - A concealed cavity within the panel system where power and low-voltage cabling is distributed. This cavity is typically located in the bottom of a panel, but may also appear in the middle and top portions.
  • Raceway Covers – Molded strips of plastic or metal that conceal electrical and phone wires or fiber optic cables routed under, through, and around systems office furniture.
  • Refurbished – A product that has been tested and undergone repair or replacement of missing or broken components to restore it to proper working condition.
  • Remanufactured – Refers to a product, such as a cubicle or workstation,  that a manufacturer reprocesses to restore it to a like-new condition.
  • Seated Privacy – Typically refers to cubicles with partitions that measure around 54” high. These types of cubicles are popular because the partitions provide seated users a generous level of privacy.
  • Systems Furniture – The term for an office furniture system that is comprised of panels, worksurfaces, and shelves. Cubicles and workstations are among the most common form of systems furniture.
  • Tackable – Wall panels that are usually made of fiberboard and allow users to easily affix pins, tacks, or staples for posting calendars, schedules, or other documents.
  • Task Light – Well-positioned office lighting that is typically affixed under overhead storage shelves or cabinets and designed to project a proper amount of light and contrast over a reading area, cubicle, or workstation.
  • Work Surface - A high pressure, commercial grade composite wood core table top typically covered with a laminate or even veneer. The work surface is used in cubicles and serves as a writing/working surface.
  • Workstations – Work areas, most commonly cubicles and desks, where employees carry out duties on equipment such as computers or telephones.

For terms not covered here, please contact us for more information.