Back to the Future: The Return of the Cubicle in a Post-COVID World

Back to the Future: The Return of the Cubicle in a Post-COVID World

Finding yourself daydreaming about a post-Coronavirus future? Wish you could commandeer Doc Brown’s Back to the Future DeLorean and get there, like, right now?

While time-traveling DeLoreans remain in the realm of sci-fi and daydreams, it is realistic to start thinking about the future of the office and work environment once operations resume some sense of normalcy. It should be any time now.

Let’s explore the layout of office floor plans and how they might change. Picture educational and business campuses, offices and conference rooms, and multi-suite professional centers. Configuring more space to spread out staff runs contrary to typical practices. After all, isn’t success usually reflected in growth?

This fundamental adjustment in thinking and planning has office managers bringing back the cubicle. The congregational setting of open-plan offices may no longer be feasible for many operations and forward-thinkers are drawing new layouts at this moment, balancing functionality with distancing guidelines.

According to a recent Inc. publication, “many workers loathe the interruption-prone, privacy-free spaces” of the open-plan, adding that “science shows they don’t even achieve their stated aim of fostering greater collaboration.” Even further studies have shown “that open-plan setups facilitate the spread of germs.” As Inc. puts it, “more walls, fewer germs.”