If you are in market for office cubicles, you’ve probably noticed a wide disparity in cubicle height and size. For some office managers, the design of a cubicle shows the level of the person sitting in it – much like the coveted corner office, a large, high walled cubicle could be considered the pinnacle of success.
However, the smart office designer will look at the individual tasks meant to be performed by cubicle dwellers, and create a workspace where cubicle wall height is determined by efficiency, not hierarchy.
Low cubicle walls are typically 42 inches high, which allows co-workers to see and talk to each-other while seated. Rather than seeing this setup as one that is cheap and therefore appropriate for employees who are low on the corporate ladder, look at this type layout as particularly valuable for teams who need open collaboration and a free flow of information and ideas. Spontaneous brainstorming sessions or informal meetings are a snap, and don’t require removal of the team to a conference room.
Medium height cubicles (53 inches high) are standard fare for offices where worker bees sit on the phone all day providing customer service or working sales calls. Employees can still see and communicate with co-workers by simply stand up. The greater modicum of privacy afforded can be attractive if workplace distractions are hindering the quality of customer care. An added benefit of medium height cubicle walls is that it encourages employees to stand up occasionally and stretch their legs while seeking out social interaction.
High walled cubicles (66 inches high) used to be considered a stand in for that corner office – the “luxury suite” reserved for the head honcho. However, not all executives thrive in the more secluded workspace.This type of cubicle might be more suited to the worker who truly needs the isolation and privacy to be productive – the programmer sequencing code, the writer on a deadline, or the sales executive closing the biggest deal in company history.
Stop looking at cubicle height as a way to separate low level employees from executives, and instead focus on productivity. Using cubicle extenders can allow you to alter cubicle height at will, so a changing office demographic can always be best served no matter what kind of work the occupants may be involved in.