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In past days, offices were equipped with traditional cubicles that required people to work on their own, nearly isolated from other co-workers. Even with lower cubicle walls, workers worked on their own projects and collaborated with each other – by handing off work over the walls or going from one cubicle to another. Today’s work environment is completely different. Collaboration is the key word.
From the “Dilbert” Cubicle to Collaboration
The cubicles that your staff (and possibly you) occupy are not today’s furniture trend. After being invented in the late 1960s, they became popular, mainly because businesses didn’t have to pay to create an individual walled office for every employee.
In today’s office, workers can work in cubicles with wheels, which enables them to move their office closer to other workers with whom they are collaborating on a project. These new cubicles are open, not on one side, but two, which reinforces the feel of an open office. When the worker needs privacy and quiet, they are able to slide a translucent panel over to close themselves off from other workers. This arrangement has several advantages and drawbacks.
Privacy Versus Socialization
New collaborative-oriented cubicles enable workers to socialize more with each other, which can be healthy. Some workers have the tendency to isolate themselves from others, relying on email to communicate with others. Now, they can collaborate with others in completing assigned projects. Of course, some workers may rely on cubicle privacy to keep their work more confidential.
The more “social-minded” worker may take socialization to a level where their work doesn’t get done when it should. This worker may need to learn when it’s time to work and when socialization is appropriate.
Teamwork Versus Distraction
Some projects require frequent collaboration so all members of a team can get their assignments done, allowing all members to submit their work in a timely manner. Rearranging cubicles so they can catch up with other team members’ work and discuss new phases makes this easy.
On the other hand, the noise level and distractions increase when several teams are working together. Workers may glance over at what one team is doing, with their conversation and laughter and lose track of what they are supposed to be doing.
Gaining Transparency and Recognition
Collaborative cubicles allow managers and other team members to see what everyone has been doing. It allows for more “real-time” accountability and for recognition of the efforts that various team members have been making in completing their mutual project. Along with recognition, managers and team members have additional transparency in their work.
When workers work in an atmosphere of transparency, not only can they collaborate, they can ensure that their work is being completed in compliance with the company’s policies and procedures. As the company owner or manager, you’ll also become aware of any dishonest activity more quickly.
When it’s time for you to begin deciding on your new cubicles, call our Cubicle World experts and ask them about our collaborative cubicles. Browse cubicles when you decide to order “open office” cubicles for your business.
Call Us For A FREE Cubicles Quote 713-412-3090.
Visit Our Office Cubicle Warehouse Located At 11050 West Little York, Bldg J, Houston TX 77041