Whither the cubicle?
Curt Rosengren on Business
I've never worked in a cubicle. As an employee, I always had an office, and self-employment finds me even farther away from any cubicle walls (right now I'm on my couch).
But I've heard enough stories about cubicle life to know that they can be from ideal. And according to this article, they are barriers to interaction and productivity. As an alternative to the traditional cubicle farm, companies are starting to design spaces that allow more of a free-range employee approach.
The article points to Muzak's office as an example.
The company 'created a city in a box,' based on the Italian piazza model...The result is a complex of transparent offices and shared workstations set along boulevard-like aisles, all spilling into open areas.
The open architecture 'allows for impromptu meetings ... and a better exchange of ideas,' Vigeland says.
The article goes on to describe the ideal free-range office space.
His idyllic workplace borrows from a European model, where wireless laptops allow employees to work where needed - kind of a hipper version of the pre-cubicle office, without the rows of assigned identical desks and gray in-boxes.
'People feel everything needs to be done in one space,' he says. Ideally, 'you'd be working all over the place.'
What do you think? Should the cubicle be a thing of the past? How much does the work environment impact communication and productivity? What kind of environment has worked best for you?