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CUBICLE COURTESY Cultural and organizational implications of today’s offices or best practices leading to cubicle blis

CUBICLE COURTESY Cultural and organizational implications of today’s offices or best practices leading to cubicle bliss. Colleen Bolton & Ginger Lever November 2006. Welcome & Introductions Who we are Why we are here Preparing students for their futures

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CUBICLE COURTESY Cultural and organizational implications of today’s offices or best practices leading to cubicle blis

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  1. CUBICLE COURTESYCultural and organizational implications of today’s officesor best practices leading to cubicle bliss Colleen Bolton & Ginger Lever November 2006

  2. Welcome & Introductions Who we are Why we are here Preparing students for their futures Creating “flow” and productive environments

  3. Today more than 60% of white-collar workers, 40 million Americans work in cubicles Early American economy locally oriented Railroad & Banking Centralized work locations Management, hierarchy Specialized functions Value of positive physical environment to attract and retain staff History of the Modern Office

  4. Advantages ….. Cubicle Advantages & Challenges • Challenges • ……

  5. Advantages of Cubicles • Cost efficient, easily adaptive space supports dynamic business climate • Maximizes facilities - space and expense – with flexibility for changes in group size and work styles and changing technology • Security from outside and to inside • Positive image to visitors and employees • Maximizes space to support group work and social interactions (meeting rooms, libraries, cafeterias) • Preserves privacy and environment to concentrate • Furniture and space tied to task and individual needs rather than job level

  6. Challenges of Cubicles • Access to daylight can be limited • Disruptions/intrusions can impact on productivity • Signals peer relationships and interaction patterns • Space management and corporate culture • Who has an office and who does not • Large, private offices at the top; small cubes at the bottom • Can create turf and hierarchy issues • Can foster alienation among workers • Managing shared spaces and individual spaces • Difficult to accommodate varied working styles and preferred work environments (temp, lighting, furniture, privacy)

  7. The Rise of the Cubicle

  8. Some Cubicle Factoids • A Cubicle – • from the Latin word cubiculum, bed chamber, small chambers of all sorts, partitioned spaces, including study areas and small rooms with walls that do not reach the ceiling. Merriam-Webster Online • Bob Probst created the first cubicle -- the Action Office • A beautiful vision in 1968… a system to raise productivity… • Plenty of work surfaces, varying desk levels, display shelves; partitions, with privacy and places to pin-up works in progress • Economics of facilities management • Downfall of the Action Office became a cheaper alternative to redoing a floor plan.

  9. In 1976 Richard Haworth made today’s cubicle -- a design with wall panels, internal wiring for lights and typewriters eliminating extension cords • Big business with sales of $10 million in 1975 to 1999 revenue of $1.58 billion • Coincided with ’70’s open classroom • Echoed same pros and cons as in the business community. Unlike the open classroom concept, the cubicle has stood the test of time.

  10. What cultural or work climate is necessary to make cubicles successful?

  11. Creating Cubicle Bliss Through Culture • Create a culture of respect, where people feel comfortable expressing concerns and have policies to support it • Zero-tolerance policies for workplace gossip • Create a system that lets others know “I’m not available • Develop manager sensitivity to the impact of changing layouts where the widening of one space narrows another

  12. Communicate professional standards or policies for work environment at time of hire and repeat regularly • Personal Hygiene (Scent Policies) • Political, religious posters, etc. • Workplace/professional language and humor • Music

  13. Balance personal freedom in work space with professional and respectful environment White noise machines Private space for personal needs -- phone calls, breast pumping, medically necessary exercise Foster respect for privacy and value of collaborative work in social spaces Avoid bad planning and cheap approaches Investments in lighting, soundproofing, heat/cooling, ventilation, ergonomic stations become assets in recruiting and retaining good employees

  14. “It takes only three walls to make a man feel trapped.” The Drew Carey Show THE MATRIX’s feature character, Thomas Anderson felt his cubicle emphasized his isolation from the world.

  15. Dilbert….what more can we say?Dilbert.com, http://www.unitedmedia.com/comics/dilbert/index.html • 11/6/06

  16. 11/7/06

  17. 11/8/06

  18. 11/9/06

  19. Attack of the Drones from Accoutrements

  20. What can all employees in a cubicle environment do to make the work environment a productive, pleasant place to work?

  21. Creating Cubicle Bliss Through Daily Use of Etiquette

  22. 10 ways to build strong bonds and foster productivity when working with colleagues in close quarters 1. Be a courteous guest.2. Use your "library voice."3. Curb casual conversation. 4. Stay home with the sniffles. 5. Have good scents.6. Ask before borrowing.7. Avoid décor disasters.8. Hit the right tune.9. Avoid phone faux pas.10. Be friendly. Rules for Cubicle CourtesyRobert Half International

  23. Cubicle Innovations • Sensors that detect when we enter offices – • cue software alerting colleagues that we’re available to talk • turn on electronic devises-- lights and computers • adjust to temperature preferences • Shared microelectromechanical systems rendering super sharp images on displays for shared work projects • PODS -- umbrella like, portable small group seating • Advances in design, lighting, audio technology improving privacy, individualized environmental accommodations

  24. My Cubicle

  25. References • Becker, Franklin. (1990) The Total Workplace. Facilities Management and the Elastic Organization. Van Nostrand Reinhold, NY. • Bryant, Susan. Improve your cube life. Monster. htt/p://wlb.monster.com/articles/cube. • Carbon to Computers: A Short History of the Birth and Growth of the American Officehttp://www.smithsonianeducation.org/scitech/carbons/text/birth.html • Career Builder. Rules for Cubicle Courtesy. Robert Half International.http://www.careerbuilder.com/JobSeeker/careerbytes/CBArticle.aspx?articleID=247&cbRecursionCnt=1&cbsid=a5f02c4ca5de4e01bd3bde4f14323f94-215709994-VM-4 • Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. (2003). Good Business. Leadership, Flow, and the Making of Meaning. Viking press: New York. • Dilbert.com, http://www.unitedmedia.com/comics/dilbert/index.html • Lebeau, Mary. “The Fine Art of “Cubetiquette.” www.jobweb.com/resources/library/workplace_culture/The_Fine_Art_of_111_01.html. • Schlosser, Julie. “Cubicles: The Great Mistake.” Fortune Magazine. March 22, 2006. • Merriam-Webster Online

  26. Colleen.Bolton@unh.edu Ginger.Lever@unh.edu Thank you.

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