And hierarchies don’t disappear when you place everyone at a communal table or “superdesk”; they persist in more subtle modes of workplace interaction.
I suspect that people thrown into open plans might even miss their cubicles. And there are features of cubicles—such as the need to partition wide spaces—that I suspect will continue to be useful and never go away; these needs precede the invention of the cubicle itself. — theatlantic.com
The original rationale for the open-plan office, aside from saving space and money, was to foster communication among workers, the better to coax them to collaborate and innovate. But it turned out that too much communication sometimes had the opposite effect: a loss of privacy, plus the urgent desire to throttle one’s neighbor. — New York Times
The architects often walk clients through it to show how an open environment works. There’s not a private office or cubicle anywhere, and there’s constant low-level hubbub: people in motion, and gathering into small groups. The tour makes some clients nervous; they wonder how their own workers would concentrate in such an environment. — NYT
At the end of his life, Robert Propst, creator of the cubicle system, called his invention “monolithic insanity,” yet we seem unable to tread down any other path. Longstanding calls for the Redesign of the Cubicle continue... — opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com
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