Cubicles or desks?

Open desk space vs cubicles – which is preferable?

Office Cubicles or Office DesksOffice administrators and support staff have voiced strong opinions on this debate for decades: which is better, an open office with strategic desk placement or cubicles divided into individual work spaces? For many years, partitioning office space into cubicles held sway over the open desk scheme, but that trend appears to be changing in favor of spacious arrangements that offer workers and clients a comfortable atmosphere. While many office workers agree that an opened up office scheme is preferable to an arrangement of cubicles, this trend does not come without a few distinct disadvantages. In the end, it’s up to the people who work in these settings to decide which format best suits their styles and the type of work that takes place, but it might also be beneficial to do a side-by-side comparison of some elements associated with office arrangements before reaching a final decision.

Comparing office activities in cubicles vs open spaces

– Communication and teamwork:
Open desk arrangements are typically more conducive to teamwork and communication between employees. For industries in which workers must collaborate frequently, or engage in group discussions, an open desk configuration works very well. For businesses in which employees work mostly on their own, cubicles might be the better option.

– Noise and privacy:
Privacy is one of the biggest advantages of working in a cubicle setting. This is especially true during telephone calls when office workers could accidentally overhear confidential conversations. Noise is another factor that can interfere with work conducted outside of a cubicle arrangement. If privacy and noise aren’t an important element of how a company operates, then either configuration is an option.

– Work flow and interruptions:
While open office spaces promote teamwork, they may also invite colleague interruptions and breaks in the flow of work. By contrast, cubicles provide a more isolated setting, enabling most workers to develop an efficient work flow. Cubicles also mean fewer interruptions by other workers and even administrative staff members.

The final word

No single office configuration automatically trumps another. Finding an arrangement that promotes the ideal working environment depends upon an amalgam of factors unique to each industry as well as the preferences of the company and its staff of office workers. Sometimes the best way to solve the desks vs cubicles debate is by trial and error and by paying attention to the overall comfort and contentment of office personnel.