The Difference Between Cubicles and Modular Wall Systems
When planning an office layout, there are numerous decisions that must be made. Most important of these is how to lay out the office and work space to increase productivity, while ensuring both a sense of community among the workers, and a continued sense of privacy. The two most widely used methods of office design involve either the use of cubicles or the use of modular wall systems. Let's take a look at the differences between each of these systems.
First let's take a look at the use of cubicles. They have long been a standard in most office buildings. The pros of using a cubicle are many! To begin with, they are a home away from home. Workers can decorate their cubicle however they wish, making it an atmosphere that is enjoyable and comfortable to be in daily. Many people thrive on having personal space available to them. Secondly, of course, is individual privacy. Many people find it very important to have some space that is theirs alone and where they are not constantly being observed by other co-workers. On a strictly practical basis, you can have more space for storing things on shelves or keeping manuals or other large works in an organized manner. You can hang important diagrams or documents needed for day to day work clearly on the walls for easy access. Many people find it easier to concentrate and avoid distraction in a cubicle. The cons of the standard cubicles are that they have a tendency to reduce creativity. They do not promote an increased sense of individuality. They also do not promote collaboration between team members as they are completely separated from each other by large partitions. Many standard cubicles are being modified to include cubicles with lower dividing walls, or glass cubicles, to address some of the issues associated with the older modules.
The next office design concept involves modular wall systems. Modular wall systems allow the office designer to piece together a work space that allows for an open concept design, or a more standard cubicle design. Each individual wall size can be selected and modified. The difference between the modular wall system and the standard cubicle is that the wall systems usually allow for a more open space environment. Open spaces by their nature, allow for enhanced collaboration, which usually leads to greater creativity. More and more workers band together and share ideas and concepts. Management can also more closely examine their staff to determine who is working hard, and who might be slacking off. The cons of using the modular wall systems in this fashion is that with too much open space you lose some of your privacy. You are no longer able to keep conversations private from your co-workers. Sometimes people find it harder to concentrate, and miss the shelf space once available to them in a cubicle.
Cubicles and Modular Wall Systems have their differences, but both serve a good purpose. Each organization must determine which one matches more closely the environment they are trying to create within the office.