Cubicles have been a white-collar workplace mainstay for the past four decades, thanks to innovations in office design in the late 1960s. Offices were, back then, made up of rows and rows of desks in wide open spaces. Cubicles were meant to give more privacy to the thinking person—a way to individualize one’s space. However, in the context of the 21st century, where the term knowledge worker is a buzzword and design efficiency is key to making things just darned work, cubicles might just be considered a thing of the past, business solutions experts advise.
It all boils down to one word: distraction.
For knowledge workers, performance takes a definitive hit from poor workplace design. Staying in a cube—or worse, sharing a cube with a workmate—could make it difficult for an individual to concentrate. With heads popping up dividers (with accompanying chatter), and with people freely passing through your doorway (wait, you don’t have a door), you hardly have any time to focus on your important work.
Office design firms and company formation advisers suggest that employers consider workers’ needs for focus in designing an office layout.