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The cubicle comeback: Tracing the Evolution of Office Design

Updated: Jul 16

Tracing the Evolution of Office Design
Tracing the Evolution of Office Design

### The Cubicle Comeback: Tracing the Evolution of Office Design

Cubicles seem to be making a comeback, and this time, they might be here to stay. But how did they originate? If you're considering incorporating office cubicles into your workspace, you might be interested in their history and the transformations in office design.

Many companies today utilize office cubicles in updated forms. You can find both new and used cubicles for sale, promoting sustainability for businesses in the Greater Toronto Area. First, let's explore the history of the cubicle to understand its role in the evolving office environment.

#### The Origins of the Cubicle

Surprisingly, the concept of cubicles dates back to medieval times when European monks used small, cubicle-like spaces to copy manuscripts. Renaissance writers also used similar spaces, often adding curtains for privacy, which helped them focus on their work.

The modern office cubicle, however, was created in the 1960s as an alternative to large, open office spaces with rows of desks. Robert Propst designed these workspaces to give employees more freedom, aiming to foster a productive and creative environment with dedicated workstations where employees had space to work and store files.

Interestingly, the original design included adjustable desks to allow employees to alternate between sitting and standing positions. The layout featured cubicles in the central area, while managers and executives had private offices. Unfortunately, this design led to the rise of the "cubicle farm."

#### The Popularity Surge

The cubicle design was officially introduced in 1967/68 and quickly gained popularity, albeit not as Propst had envisioned. He intended for cubicles to be personalized workspaces where employees could decorate and personalize their own space. However, managers saw it as an affordable way to fit more workers into a central area. During the ‘80s and ‘90s, cubicles became the dominant office layout due to economic recessions, mergers, and buyouts, leading to overcrowded workspaces.

Eventually, cubicles were replaced by open office designs in the ‘90s, driven by start-up companies seeking to innovate the workplace. This shift reflected changing attitudes toward work and provided insights into the evolving office environment.

#### The Cubicle Resurgence

Many employers have realized that the popular open office design has its drawbacks, prompting a reconsideration of cubicles. Modern cubicles now feature more flexible and appealing designs, promoting office sociability and connectivity.

If you're thinking about adopting a cubicle layout, consider these steps:

- Combine cubicles and open areas for a balanced work environment.

- Select trendy cubicles with lower partitions and attractive designs.

- Group team members by connecting their cubicles.

- Consider your employees’ preferences and offer various options.

#### Sustainable Cubicle Solutions in the Greater Toronto Area

At Ufficio Furniture, we provide opportunities to create a balanced, productive workspace with new or pre-used cubicles. If you're looking to make your office more eco-friendly and reduce costs, used cubicles are an excellent solution. Our team will assist you in finding the perfect fit, deliver your cubicles quickly, and set them up.

We serve the entire Greater Toronto Area, from downtown to the city's outskirts. Contact us to transform your office into a creative hub with our help!

Visit today and get your cubicles!

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