A recent trend in corporate and tech giant companies has been to open up the office space. In fact, open offices predated cubicles in the beginning of the 20th century, when an architect figured that people should work alongside one another in order to flourish in the workplace.
Then, the trend of cubicles took over in the 1960’s. Workers were cramped into tiny, windowless quarters where they were thought to be more efficient. The stuffy, soulless cubical was thrown out in favor of the industrial, high-ceiling open floor plan once more.
Now, there’s emerging evidence that there needs to be a balance between the social club that is the open office and the soul-sucking drudgery that is the cubical. Read on to find out why office partitions are the best compromise between the two extremes.
Office Partitions Are Versatile
The convenient one-size-fits-all concept is not a reality in the workforce. No two jobs and no two employees are alike. Therefore, some thrive in closed spaces where they can concentrate on their job, while others thrive in an open space where they can collaborate with others.
While both cubicles and open spaces are permanent designs, partitions are portable. If an office space has access to partitions, small cubicles can be created anywhere within the large, open office space, allowing for true versatility.
Workers Need A Change of Scenery
Being cramped in a tiny office space is nearly as bad as being distracted throughout the day in an open office. therefore, maybe the ideal solution is fluidity throughout the day for any employee who needs it.
Perhaps, a person can be more productive with a change of scenery throughout the day. For instance, maybe one worker can spend an entire morning in an open office area answering emails or attending meetings. Then, he can move to a partitioned area in the room–a makeshift cubical, if you will–to concentrate on more taxing solitary tasks. That kind of flexibility can help people function less like robots and more like productive, intelligent human thinkers.
Since office culture has shifted from cubicles to social offices and back again for about a century now, maybe the main takeaway is that both concepts work, but they aren’t mutually exclusive. not every worker is cut out for the same environment. Also, it pays to keep a worker comfortable in order to keep him or her engaged.
Perhaps the answer is in the use of office partitions. They can be moved as needed. They also allow for versatility and fluidity among workers.