When employees can’t get what they need out of their workstation, they have 3 options:
- Try to live with an unlivable situation
- Request or requisition the tools they need to be more productive
- Come up with their own solutions that seem better than nothing
This actually happens with inadequate cubicle walls more often than you think. Workers who have to sit in noisy areas will go to extraordinary lengths to create panel accessories that cut down on distractions. Here’s one example of an employee who discovered she could no longer concentrate when she was moved to a new cubicle:
“It is very loud where I sit because employees for whatever reason like to stand in this area and chit-chat. Oh, did I mention the “message center” is directly across from me? This is the area where emergency phone calls come in, so it’s pretty busy. Anyhow, I’ve noticed on different floors that some employees have made their own cubicle wall extensions – I’m not sure of the exact name, but basically it’s an additional panel you add to your cubicle wall. I’m thinking I could get some thick cardboard and then wrap it in pretty fabric then figure out a way to attach it to my existing cubicle wall.”
As you can imagine, having a workspace full of cubicles that are each outfitted with different pieces of fabric-covered cardboard isn’t going to appear very professional. It would look like a shanty town where workers have to scrounge for scraps to build cubicles that actually help them be productive. Not exactly the kind of image you want for your office environment! In contrast, OBEX panel extenders allow workers to cut the level of noise they contend with while maintaining a uniform appearance from one workstation to the next. There’s no reason for any employee to be “stuck” in the cubicle no one wants. Instead, you can make every cubicle fully functional with panel extensions.