The Future. The open-floor concept of the Silicon Valley startup era is ending as workers yearn to recapture the personal space of the once-hated cubicle. As privacy becomes a key part of people’s optimal work environment, companies that provide dedicated space for each employee could see a hiring boost.
Goodbye, ping-pong table; hello, privacy
Cubicles are becoming cool again.
- People are finding it harder to get work done in an open-concept office — one study found that workers performed 14% worse on cognitive tasks, while another found that a significant number of workers said it hurts their productivity and creativity.
- Ironically, it’s also hurting face-to-face interactions — a Harvard Business School study found that 70% of employees turn more to Slack and email in an open-concept office. Why? People don’t want the whole office hearing their conversations.
- That’s not to say that open concepts don’t have their benefits — several studies found that they greatly increase opportunities for collaboration and bonding.
The renewed push for cubicles is, as Thomas Roulet, a professor of organizational sociology and leadership at the University of Cambridge, says, a barometer for how remote work has shaped the workforce. Employees have gotten used to having their own spaces to buckle down and focus.
People just want to get their work done.