Death of the Cubicle: How Businesses Are Transforming The Workspace

A decade ago, the idea of an open workspace gave rise to the image of relaxed, goofy coworkers with overly creative imaginations collaborating in an office that was more a playground than work place. The cubicle was the frontline in office efficiency, trimming the workplace fat down to the leanest possible configuration, which prioritized work usually to the expense of the individual identity. However, The Wallstreet Journal officially announces the death of the cubicle. It even has a slideshow examining workplaces over the past ninety or so years, from the lines of desks and cubicles of “yesteryear” to the modern workplace at the Campbell Soup HQ today. In the cubicle’s place comes the open, creative workspaces that foster collaboration and helps to attract and maintain talent within a company.

And not surprisingly, small businesses are leading the evolution of the office space. With fewer employees comes an easier amount of room to change, and they can better adopt styles that work on an individual level, as well as at the company level. Jon Eggleton, the CMO for Turnstone, said that the “one-size-fits-all workspace does not exist anymore.” With everyone being creative in different ways, it only stands to reason that the office should match that. A quick glance through the customer stories available on the Turnstone website shows that offices all over the country are different, styled to match those that work there.

Eggleton goes on to emphasize how space can be a major asset to productivity and that ideally a workplace should have a “palette of place” that allows individuals to choose how and where they work throughout the day. Further, while technology continues to change, the human process of innovation doesn’t. Allowing for a place to create strong social bonds and collaboration are critical to creating fresh, new ideas.

So what does that mean for your small business? Simply, uniform cubicles may not be the way to go. Spending time and effort early in your business to create a space that fosters communication can pay dividends later. A lot of time, businesses focus on the technology that can help to increase creativity, productivity, and efficiency, but maybe taking down the walls between coworkers and creating a sense of community can be just the thing to kick-start your employees.

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Dimitri Jordan

Dimitri Jordan is a student working on a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and a second in Ancient Studies. He is also a freelance writer, often concerned with concepts in technology and media.

4 thoughts on “Death of the Cubicle: How Businesses Are Transforming The Workspace

  1. Julius

    I work in HR dealing with sensitive issues like ADA, FMLA and employee discipline. Sorry, an open work space does not work for employees dealing with sensitive issues. And how about the employees who simply prefer a traditional office? Do we simply ignore their work preference?


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