Open Office Vs Cubicle Office Design
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Open Office Vs Cubicle Office Design

A long time ago, office spaces were defined by boxed-in structures called cubicles and employees slaved from within (catching those forty winks in the bargain when nobody came peeping in). They were left unto themselves, had the privacy that individuals always seem to need and could decorate their exclusive space how they wanted. Was that enough? No, they felt cut off from the rest and longed for those water-cooler moments when they could interact with someone.

With time, things evolved and a more collaborative culture came into being- the Open Office where everyone and everything seemed to overlap and everything belonged to everyone. So how did workers feel? Again they had a grouse; there were too many distractions, they couldn't concentrate and were always in the midst of a crossfire of conversations being bandied over them.

“Space shapes our behaviors, so if organizations want to foster the types of behaviors that encourage growth, innovation and creativity, you have to invest in the spaces that do that,” notes Linda Kano, president, Interior Showplace Ltd.

And there couldn't be a truer word than that-- after all workspaces are where people spend a lot of time and they need to have the best working environment to get those creative juices flowing.

That said, which one should it be? Open Office or a cubicle? Let's sneak into each of those and see what they have to offer by way of pros and cons.

Open Offices are what they profess to be -open and transparent- where inconspicuous employers can keep an eye on errant employees and ensure that they are on the job for the time they actually bill. Information flows down better, communication is seemingly easier and there is an apparent improvement in productivity. Employers pat themselves on the back, while employees frown as they are frustrated at the 'lack of visual privacy' and the constant exposure to clatter and clamor that does very little to stimulate those gray cells.

Cubicles-- they are just that—cuboid like spaces that promise a little privacy, shuts you off from the many distractions of the open office and even gives you a small storage space for all your paraphernalia. So are those juices flowing? Not yet, because now you feel stifled and non-creative because there is no external stimulation or interaction to get the cells ticking.

So what's the answer then?

Ah! Well, a hybrid workspace that gives employees at all levels places of their choice to use at any time of the day. Some private rooms when they need to concentrate, open spaces when they need to brainstorm, work-stations and perhaps cubicles that can be moved anywhere—the list is endless- but this could well be the answer to the much hotly debated 'Open Offices Or Cubicles'.

After all, the main purpose of workspaces is to enhance performance, increase productivity, up user satisfaction-- all critical elements for a successful business. So move over cubicles and open offices!

Visit Commercial Concepts and Furnishings to see more office design tips!


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