While the open-office plan continues to take over offices from New York to Los Angeles, managers who have long ago jumped on the bandwagon are starting to realize that full-time collaborative workspaces and complete transparency may not be the ideal solution.
The office cubicle has been maligned in every way. From books to movies, people have acted as if the cubicle has ruined their lives. And yet workers now realize that working in a cubicle does have its benefits after all.
The biggest and most important advantage of being able to work in an office cubicle is the increases in efficiency and productivity. By blocking out the distractions from your coworkers, you let yourself focus more on the work you need to do.
In an open-office plan, anybody can silently stand behind you and snoop on your emails as you read them. This will not happen with the privacy that an office cubicle provides.
Modern office cubicles are not like the stuffy, gray boxes of old. There is a broad range of styles and designs that you can choose from, and employees have all the opportunity to personalize their cubicles to keep it their own.
Used office cubicles provide the chance to re-install some of the much-needed privacy in the workplace without having to pay the high cost of brand new equipment.
As managers are now starting to realize, perhaps the open-office plan is not the best office plan after all. In the same way, keeping workers boxed in all the time may not be such a good idea as well.
As with everything in life, balance is the key. A good mix of open workstations for collaboration, cubicles for heightened concentration, and even a few fun, unconventional workspaces for inducing creativity will help create an atmosphere that your employees will appreciate.