Cubicles have been an office cornerstone since the late 1970’s, as more and more businesses embraced the action office theory advanced by inventor Robert Propst. The primary reason was to encourage organization, productivity, and quality but over the years, this boost has had the opposite effect. The idea of custom cubicles came later and will be discussed in this article.
Businesses have adjusted by reducing the height of the cubicle or eliminating them altogether but there has been no single direction of adjustment that seems to correct the situation. That is, until recently.
Over the last several years a new concept has become clear to both employers and employees, that customization of the cubicle workspace is precisely what is needed to allow cubicles to be highly productive and efficient workspace they were designed to be.
Allowing employees to customize their workspace is not only necessary to boost productivity and efficiency but also enhance employee morale and job satisfaction, all of which influence return on investment..
Jacinta Francis, Ph.D. supports this concept in a Psychology Today article entitled: Personalizing Workspaces to Enhance Wellbeing. As far as customizing a work space she states in the article:
“If nothing else, I’ve found that funny images, inspirational quotes and photos of loved ones can provide me with a burst of perspective at just the right moment and remind me of the reasons I’m working in the first place.”
In the article she credits research published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, titled; “My space”: A moderated mediation model of the effect of architectural and experienced privacy and workspace personalization on emotional exhaustion at work” by Lawrence, Fried and Slowik.
Creative Custom Cubicles
This research and the theory of cubicle customization has even come to the aweareness of the General Services Administration and published as governmental policy in the 2006 position paper, “Innovative Workplaces; Benefits and Best Practices”.
Within this article innovative workplaces are defined and one line in particular speaks directly to the area of a company typically defined as Cubicle Nation.
“Organizations can no longer ring the outside of a building with private offices, cutting off natural light and views to people sitting inside, and expect them to perform at their best.”
Plainly, allowing the employee access to natural light, outdoor views, and the power to customize their work-space enhance the overall quality of both the work and the personal life of the employee.
There are three certain areas in which custom cubicles can offer real world benefits:
1) Upgrade a cubicle’s décor or the look and feel of the office
2) Make use of organizational office accessories to increase storage space in a small footprint.
3) Adding cubicle accessories which, in a functional sense, can make your office more like your home.
Cubicle Decor Enhancements
As far as improving a cubicle’s décor is concerned, there are many different items that can be taken advantage of such as custom frames for displaying family pictures or children’s artwork, a cubicle clock, sports paraphernalia representing your favorite teams, the addition of cubicle wallpaper, and even a custom cubicle window.
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