Post-COVID Return to Work Social Distancing Furniture

How Custom Cubicle Workstations Help in the Covid-19 Era

unique cubicle design

It has been difficult navigating the Covid-19 Era on all fronts. Effectively leaving offices empty and a big question mark next to future productivity. It has been necessary to make changes and adapt in the workplace. Measures have been put in place to provide workers with the comfort they need to feel safe in the office. But many still wish for the sense of solitude that workers have come to prefer while working remotely. The answer to all of this? A modern office cubicle.

The Modern Cubicle

modern cubicle

The modern office cubicle has become something more than the typical gray box that we have been familiar with for decades. Previously you would need to tack pictures of your wife, kids, and the family dog to the cloth-covered modular panels to make it a welcoming workspace. The modern cubicle has become a home for workers that better fosters creativity, productivity, and overall morale.

Employees did not have to worry about COVID-19 working from home. Introducing them back into the workplace without the proper measures is a big ask.

The custom modern cubicle has evolved into an individual workspace that offers a sleek modern look with clean polished lines that can easily become a focal point rather than bulky panels that serve one purpose. This hot take on the traditional cubicle provides more space for the workers and incorporates them into the office setting rather than excluding them.

Modern office cubicles offer everything from full-sized desks to frosted glass panels to allow the workers to feel more involved in the day-to-day interactions.

Custom Cubicles

The cubicle has evolved into more than just a box to put people in. The cubicles of today can be arranged so workers can communicate, come with built-in modern desks, and some units even have colorful accents that break up the monotony. The modern cubicle can be tailored to exactly what you need or want to provide your workers. The cubicles add to the environment in a positive way.

Why Does the Cubicle Work?

orange adjustable cubicle layout

There are many reasons the cubicle works. The cubicle addresses two major issues. These issues are productivity and morale. An open space office environment encourages communication between workers that might not always be related to work. The cubicle separates these workers from each other and any communication that occurs between workers has to be intentional. Thus, eliminating all unwanted and unnecessary interactions.

Forbes shared a Harvard Business School study that revealed that in certain situations open-plan office layouts have an adverse effect and lead to people being more removed from face-to-face interactions. This study is important because it shows that there can be a decrease in communication regardless of whether or not workers are confined to a personal space.

COVID-19 and Safety

If we have learned anything during the COVID-19 era, it is that separation isn’t good for social interactions but it is beneficial to providing comfort to those that prefer to limit their potential exposure. The modern cubicle can offer the best of both worlds, allowing for communication via clear partitions to encourage much-needed social interactions.

Cornell University provides a guide for health and safety regarding COVID-19. When it comes to space alterations, barriers are key to helping limit the transmission. A partition or barrier such as a sneeze guard helps in situations with higher traffic and when working or interacting with people closely. The barrier created by an office cubicle provides the same result. Workers who are cautious when it comes to the transmission of COVID-19 and want to make sure they are taking extra measures to protect themselves and others value this addition to the office.

A Harvard Business School study revealed that in certain situations open-plan office layouts have an adverse effect. In fact, they actually lead to people being more removed from face-to-face interactions.

The study also mentions the importance of keeping a distance between you and others, especially in close quarters. The separation that the cubicle creates helps account for the limited space you have in the office. An office cubicle checks all the boxes when it comes to the guidelines provided by Cornell University on social distancing barriers. The partitions of a modern cubicle are large, can be cleaned and disinfected, and do not inhibit communication between two or more people.

What We Learned Working Remotely

woman working from home

If you asked most people how COVID-19 was going to affect the workforce, you would have been hard-pressed to find someone that thought it would have the result it has had. We were greeted with increases in productivity and general morale. We learned that a large portion of the workforce that we’re able to work remotely, strongly preferred being able to work on their own terms in the comfort of their own home. Employees did not have to worry about COVID-19 working from home and introducing them back into the workplace without the proper measures is a big ask.

Regardless, of whether it is a concern or not, an employer has a duty to provide a safe and nurturing environment to its employees and nothing is safer and more nurturing than the comfort of your own home. Employees have gotten used to this comfort and safety and in a post-COVID-19 era, it is important for employees to maintain this sense of safety when returning to work.

The modern office cubicle has become something more than the typical gray box.

A lot of workers got a taste of the good life. They had a break from their coworkers and bosses. Less awkward conversations at the water cooler. Meetings cut down to occasional video calls. Remote work was a dream for most. This change worked for some industries but for a lot of them, it wasn’t a sustainable business practice. As businesses started working towards going back in person, they had to find a solution to satisfying their employees’ new needs to maintain the confined workspace.

How Your Office Can Benefit From the Modern Cubicle

modern office cubicle

An office is an extension of your company’s culture. The environment you provide for your workers is part of how they work and who they are. This environment and culture are being reinvented through aesthetics and workspace. By placing a worker in a cubicle setting rather than an open office floor plan, workers have a personal workspace unique to them.

In an open office setting the smallest distraction can pause productivity. It may be harder to manage personalities and hinder workers that have become more accustomed to a private setting.

This private setting can give employees a sense of ownership and pride in their workspace. The same type of pride and ownership they have in their own home. Also, providing personal office space to your workers gives them a place to call their own and customize.

In the open office, your workers are limited to what they can do with their personal space for several reasons. The way a worker might choose to customize their space could become a distraction to others or might require policies that prevent people from designing a space they feel comfortable in.

What You Want in a Modern Cubicle

Productivity is important. There are several ways to increase productivity but they might come with a compromise. A cubicle can give employees space to focus, but it can also create a look to your office that might not be the most aesthetically pleasing. The classic cubicle can feel monotonous. This does not benefit the morale of the workers and definitely does not provide a modern look for those that may visit your office.

There are a few things you can achieve in your office through custom cubicles. Although the cubicle has been known to create a sense of division and annexation of employees, integrating a modern office cubicle addresses these issues while solving the problem of creating a dull, boring look. And the modern cubicle goes beyond the grey boxes we are used to.

Are Modern Office Cubicles Right for Your Organization?

2 women in modern cubicle with greenery

Different office settings and industries have different needs. When designing an office, especially post-COVID, it is important to anticipate your workers’ needs. Do your employees value personal space? Do you need an open office to foster creativity? Or do you need to accommodate your worker’s special needs? These are questions that need to be taken into consideration when designing your office.

As we move away from working remotely and back towards working in an office setting, it is important to create an environment that welcomes workers back.

Answering these questions is very important especially when it comes to navigating the post-COVID landscape. Workers have come to know what they like about their jobs and workspace over the past couple of years. Accommodating their needs and your needs simultaneously can be difficult but the modern cubicle may be just what you need. Productivity and morale are two of the most important things in an office and custom cubicles address both issues.

Over the past two years, we have all had to adapt. Many have made major changes to their everyday lives. Businesses changed the way they operate and how they approach certain situations. And now we move away from working remotely and back towards working in an office setting. It is important to create an environment that welcomes workers back. Give them a piece of what they have come to value as well as a space they are proud of. Bring the cubicle back the same way you are bringing your workers back. We do not need to reinvent the office, just how we work in it.

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