Cubicles have long dominated the commercial office space, and only in recent years have more open layouts started to become popular. Some have speculated that this signals the end of cubicles in the office, which may end up being obsolete by the end of 2017. However, don’t be so presumptuous! The cubicle still has an important role to play in the future of office design.
The Original Cubicle
The first of inception of today’s contemporary cubicle was actually invented by an art professor in 1964. He called them “action offices”–spaces that felt private and enabled employees to be more productive. The concept and layout rapidly spread across America as the defining feature of the corporate/business environment. In fact, the modern office cubicle is so deeply ingrained in our culture that it’s unlikely to disappear overnight, and certainly not within the next year. Instead, we’re simply seeing the rise of early adopters as the “cubicle” transforms into the next big furniture trend.
Rethinking the Cubicle
Cubicles and other modular office furnishings are changing. They are taking up less floor space in order to in order to accommodate the once considered “ancillary furnishings”. Furthermore, as the economy changes so too must businesses adapt. We no longer think of the office as a space belong to full-time or part-time employees. Instead, the office is a sea of contractors, freelancers, specialists, and the commuter workforce. Today’s cubicle designs must be able to create a flexible work environment that is accessible to everyone in this new pool of staff members.
Evolution of the Office
Modern offices are increasingly being outfitted with acoustic and collaborative furniture that can be strategically placed within cubicles and other workstation areas. Some companies are even dedicating entire floors or office areas to collaborative and acoustic furniture in order to provide a more intimate space for small team meetings, virtual conferences, brainstorming sessions and more. As more employees flock toward this collaborative design, the cubicle may yet evolve into an even more private and “quiet” work area. Whatever the case, the traditional grid layout is likely to become more dynamic. In 2017, expect furniture that fits the person–not the other way around.
Office Moving, Furniture and Planning from Edwards & Hill
Need help with your next office move? Edwards & Hill can help you plan and install. Edwards and Hill is a leading office, medical, and hospitality furniture supply and installation firm. We provide quality design and installation services that can fit any style and scale. If you’re interested in talking to a professional about any of our services contact us at 301-317-4250.