No More Cubicles? Designers Suggest New Workplace Layout

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ARLINGTON, TX - Have you heard of a Cube Farm? You know, when you walk into work and there's a sea of cubicles? Well now, designers and architects are trying to take employees back to school.  Well, sort of.

“Back in college, you go into the classroom, you sit where you want. In many corporations, you’re told where to sit, and you’re told how to work and who you get to work with,” KI Furniture Vice-President Jonathan Webb said.  “That creates a lot of friction in the workplace.”

So, these folks got some tips from students UT Arlington Wednesday on how to bring classroom design into the workplace.

“We’re having our clients come tour through some of the spaces at the University and find out what are those cues they can take from college students, how they learn, how they work, and how they study, and take that into the workplace,” Schwery added.

That means more open spaces, long tables instead of cubicles, and more lounge areas.  Nice!

“Flexibility and adaptability.  We should be able to move our physical space around to address the knowledge work that we’re engaged in,” George Siemens, Executive Director for the Learning, Innovation and Network Research Lab at UT Arlington explained.   “Whether it be brainstorming, when we have openness, we have the opportunity of serendipitous encounters with other people and ideas.”

“Cubicles create segregation from one individual to the next,” Webb said.

Yeah, how about this office slide at Google? Designers say switching things up will help attract and keep young graduates at work. So could this the beginning the cubicle knock down?  Or will employers stay inside the box on this one.