In an office, there are typically various different kinds of environments in which each employee carries out their work. Some have their own rooms, some have cubicles, some only have a desk in an open landscape etc. I'm looking for a word for the place where an individual employee carries out their work, regardless of if it's in a room, at a desk etc. Things I considered:

  • Workstation - probably the best I've got so far, but it sounds kind of techy to me (associating with a workstation computer perhaps) - does this work also for someone not using a computer such as writing by hand (!), manning a reception etc?
  • Workplace - to me this sounds like a common word for the entire office/building? Am I wrong?
  • Furniture - kind of encompasses all kinds of surfaces you can work at, but it sounds too broad (and plain silly!)
  • Equipment - to me this sounds more like advanced/specialized lab gear (labs, fume hoods, ...)?

Does anyone have a good suggestion? Imagine e.g. this sentence: "All employees in the office are guaranteed their own [ ... ] where they can carry out their work". And I don't want to go too broad with abstract terms such as "location", "spot", etc.

  • 1
    Just work space? May 17 at 14:21
  • 2
    No, you're not wrong about workplace. I'd suggest workstation or desk. May 17 at 14:31
  • 1
    Furniture is not a place, last time I checked. "workspace" is used a lot nowadays.
    – Lambie
    May 17 at 15:44
  • 1
    How about just station? That could be where you stand at a conveyor belt packing strawberries or where you sit a desk typing code. May 17 at 15:57
  • What @Lambie said. Workspace looks good to me, but not workstation. To me, that second term primarily means a high-power "personal computer" used for heavy-duty number-crunching, 3-d modeling, graphics processing, etc. May 17 at 16:31

4 Answers 4


I think "workstation" is probably the best word for this. I checked a few dictionaries, and all of them include a definition similar to "a particular spot where one person works," which is exactly what you're trying to communicate.

It's true that the word "workstation" also often refers to a computer, but context should make it clear that you're talking about an actual work station and not a computer.

  • It might not be a workstation at all. It could be a drawing table, for designers.
    – Lambie
    May 17 at 21:40
  • @Lambie Isn't a drawing table a type of workstation? It's stationary and people work there. May 17 at 21:42
  • Not necessarily. workstation usually involves computers and suchlike.
    – Lambie
    May 17 at 21:44
  • 1
    When it doesn't mean a computer, it usually means a the piece of furniture on which the computer (or other work-related material) sits. It doesn't mean a place (like an office or cubicle).
    – Barmar
    May 17 at 21:59


WORKPLACE the office, desk, etc. where someone works:
We are very informal here, so we want our workspace to look as much like a coffee shop as possible.

It looks more like a day care center than a workspace. From New York Daily News

There was just one problem: the library was so crowded this time of year that students had turned the hallways into workspaces, too.
From Fast Company

They wanted to be able to create a private workspace and invite people in. From Business Insider

The idea is that it creates a clean, safe, and disposable workspace that anybody can use. From The Verge

Nearly half said they were on month-to-month leases in their houses and workspaces, putting them at risk of displacement, the survey found. From Los Angeles Times

The icons are tiny, but it can be helpful if you have a lot of workspaces open. From Ars Technica

We're currently using artist studios, lofts, workspaces, those types of places. From MLive.com

These examples are from corpora and from sources on the web. Any opinions in the examples do not represent the opinion of the Cambridge Dictionary editors or of Cambridge University Press or its licensors.


  • 2
    Do these examples, just by themselves, constitute an answer to the question? The OP is looking for a word that stands, specifically, for the space allocated to an individual employee; in at least some of the examples given here workspace seems or stand for a larger space in which several people work (i.e. a space that contains several instances of what the OP is seeking the word for). Workspace might perhaps work for the OP's purposes when qualified as e.g. her workspace, the manager's workspace, the editor's workspace.
    – jsw29
    May 17 at 16:54
  • ... In spite of that, probably as good an answer as there is. It carries the narrower sense as well as the broader one/s (the Ars Technica example seems to refer to virtual workspaces). May 17 at 17:52
  • @jsw29 "All employees in the office are guaranteed their own workspace where they can carry out their work". workspaces can be individual or for groups.
    – Lambie
    May 17 at 17:57

On office employee works at a desk.

All employees in the office are guaranteed their own desk where they can carry out their work.

The exact location varies with the company, job etc. It might be an actual desk, a work station, or a bench. Although OP wrote

I don't want to go too broad with abstract terms

it doesn't need to be literally true. There are well-understood euphemisms concerning office life:

I'll be at my desk at 10 a.m.
I will be at work and available

I'm in a meeting at 11 a.m.
I'll be too busy to talk to you at that time

  • Using desk as metonymy/synecdoche to mean office, place of work, job, etc, seems quite common, so even if someone isn't literally at a desk (however you distinguish desk from table/counter/worksurface/bench/whiteboard/etc), this would work. For instance you might say "he's not at his desk" meaning "I can't see him in his usual place in the office"; if someone was standing 2 feet away from his usual place, you wouldn't say "he's not at his desk".
    – Stuart F
    May 18 at 11:55

How about a niche?

A situation or activity specially suited to a person's interests, abilities, or nature:

[She] found her niche in life.

[1] (See https://www.thefreedictionary.com/niche)


All employees in the office are guaranteed their own niche where they can carry out their work.

  • 3
    Not the meaning they are after though the question is somewhat ambiguous...
    – Lambie
    May 17 at 16:40
  • 1
    I think the question is pretty clear that it's talking about a physical place where they work, not the metaphorical space of activity.
    – Barmar
    May 17 at 22:01
  • @Barmar: A niche CAN be a physical space, kind of like a much larger cubby. Even metaphors can have tangible, visible counterparts. Don May 18 at 3:17
  • That seems to be this definition: "A recess in a wall, as for holding a statue or urn." I don't think I've ever heard it used for a place big enough for a person to work in, like a cubicle. A big niche might be large enough for someone to crawl into to hide.
    – Barmar
    May 18 at 14:58

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