Are you considering ditching office cubicles all together? You may want to think again.
When office cubicles hit the market back in 1967 they were touted as being revolutionary and changed the landscape of the work environment.
Less than 20 years later however, office cubicles were blamed for being stifling and were linked to workplace dissatisfaction, reducing creativity and limiting interactions amongst employees.
Today, workplace cubicles are often rejected in place of collaborative, open floor plans but could they still have their advantages?
Many office spaces choose to still use cubicles, and for good reason. While they may not work for every workplace environment, here are 3 key advantages of the cubicle that are important to consider-
1.) They Enhance Focus
While an open office space is the hottest trend right now, cubicles have been shown to be far superior when it comes to promoting focus and productivity.
In an open office there are often many distractions such as phone conversations, footsteps and so on, whereas the cubicle offers a place of retreat.
Being in a cubicle also offers a certain degree of privacy without walls or doors, which helps to enhance concentration but also leaves the opportunity for communication amongst other team members.
In a way, cubicles offer a happy medium between having an open workspace and also having privacy.
2.) They Promote Purposeful Communication
Open offices are often believed to be the best design choice for improving work place communication and collaboration, but one study found that office cubicles are actually just as effective, but in a different way.
According to the study which was published in the Sage Journal, office cubicles were shown to support “more intense patterns of interaction and smoother flows of information, while reducing interaction time amongst colleagues”.
In other words, cubicles were found to promote communication amongst employees, however the interactions were found to be shorter and more purposeful.
It seems that in an open office space, people are more likely to idly chat, whereas the idea of approaching your co-worker in a cubicle creates a greater sense of purpose when it comes to communication.
3.) They Reduce Clutter
Cubicles are often small and are sized to fit a computer, some desk space and not much else. This means that there is often no room for clutter when it comes to cubicles.
We all know that cluttered workspaces can reduce productivity, increase employee dissatisfaction and promote stress, and it seems that cubicles can definitely help to counteract this.
Due to the easily accessible nature of cubicles, employees are also less likely to leave personal things or sensitive documents laying around, which can also help to curb the build-up of clutter.
Cubicles have come a long way since the 60’s and they no longer need to be drab and uninspiring. Today, there are many modern cubicle designs that are flexible and come in an array of colours and shapes.
So, while cubicles may not be everyone’s favourite they still have many benefits to consider and may be a surprising solution for your office environment.