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By Rich Karpinski

The cubicle is an office main-stay.

But should it be?

Seems the "birthplace" of the cubicle as the foundation of the modern office, Silicon Valley, is re-thinking whether putting worker bees in hives of cubicles is the best way to get the most out of them.


Ever Feel Stuck in a Cubicle?


According to this Wall Street Journal article, High-tech companies including Intel, HP and Cisco are testing new work-spaces that spurn cubicles for more flexible environments that even include armchairs where workers can plop down and work on their laptops.

Think Starbucks brought into your office.

You may not want to go that far in your small office, but experts say lines of cubicles often do more harm than good:


Behind such tests is a growing recognition that classic, Dilbert-style cubicles have many shortcomings. For one thing, they tend to block visibility without blocking much noise from other cubes. Cubicles can prompt odd behavior, people who have studied them said. It is hard to see if colleagues are busy, so some cube-dwellers will send emails to a neighbor about a simple question that could have been answered more easily in a conversation.


More open workspaces may save money, too. Cisco says its saved 37% on office expenses since reconfiguring its offices away from cubicle farms.

Is there an opportunity for your small business to reconfigure its offices? Have you already ditched the cubicle? Let us know.

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