Lately there has been a great discussion in my office about the office layout. We have been in the same office for 35 years and have been slaves and worshipers of the cube. Our lease is up at the end of 2009 and we are going to move into a new building.
What our leadership is struggling with is how to foster communication while maintaining privacy. Read the article below and I would be interested in your ideas.
Sara Pfeiffer 2 Oct 08 10:11 AM MST
Loved that article, I found it very interesting (and somewhat amusing!) that the inventor of the cubicle shares my loathing of them!! It's also interesting because I was laid off right before I had my son and so now I'm getting unemployment.
I had worked in a call center (read: CUBICLES!!! AGH!!) and then I was a manager for a payday loan company and now I'm really trying to figure out if I even want to go back into the corporate world or if I want to start my own business. I think after reading that article that a big part of my indecision is that I don't want to be a drone in a cubicle doing the same thing day in and day out. One thing, before reading my thoughts, the cubicles I'm used to are like 7x7 and only maybe 4 or 4 1/2 feet tall. With that in mind, these are my thoughts:
If you have cubicles then you need to not have managers that freak out when they walk by and see two employees standing up and talking to each other. That used to happen all the time and most of the time we were talking about work. It's that whole micro management thing. That manager couldn't trust us to do our jobs (even though he wasn't our direct supervisor and our team was comprised of the top performers in the center). Talk about FRUSTERATING!! Managers also need to be respectful that it is your "office" and allow their employees to decorate their cube as they would be allowed to decorate their own office. It's the employees creative space and if they need pictures of their families and a kitty poster to be creative then management should encourage that.
The other thing about cubicles is that if you want people to feel more like it's their own "office" more than a cubicle is they need to be at least 8 feet high so that people can't just peek their head over the top. This would be beneficial in that you would still have your privacy, you can still go over to someone else's "office" without having the company losing money due to the different rates of depreciation.
At my old call center job, the team leader's (TL) had cubicles that were taller than the employees and where ours were maybe 7x7 and then the TL's were 7x14 so they had more room to move around, spread out projects, keep track of all their items. I think that if more people got cubes like that then it would be more along the lines of what would actually make people happy being at work.
One final thought, people always want the office with a view right? If the office is using cubicles, turn the opening of the cubicle to face the windows so that employees can turn around and take in a good view every once in a while.
Date Modified: 2 Oct 08 10:14 AM MST