A cubicle that isn’t sufficiently sheltered from the bustle and roar of a busy office can lead to increased inefficiency and worker frustration. Using cubicle wall extenders to help dampen the sound of the printer on the other side of the wall or the foot traffic from the corridor can improve employee concentration and decrease the annoyance levels significantly.
However, cubicles that are too tall and closed in can lead to severe feelings of isolation and even depression. The best route is to carefully analyze the needs of each worker as well as those of their adjoining cubicle dwellers, and create spaces that work for all concerned instead of depending on cookie cutter sameness. Fortunately, you can make cubicle walls taller in a variety of increments, expanding the possibilities for custom workplace design.
Stair stepping cubicle wall extenders placed as shown above increase quiet and privacy directly in front of the worker, while allowing her to not feel boxed in. The stepped down height of the cubicle wall as it extends behind her and off to her right creates a feeling of open space while still providing privacy and a secluded work station.
Allowing each employee to help “create” their own workplace is simple when using cubicle wall extenders. Does the six foot five employee in the next cubicle keep laughing at someone in the other end of the phone? A taller height extension can help block him out. Do two employees seated opposite each other have to keep running around the corner to consult? Choose a lower cubicle wall add on so they still have privacy but can see each-other over the top of the cubicle wall.
Developing a high efficiency cubicle environment takes a keen sense of what is working and what isn’t and the ability to balance the needs and preferences of co-workers. Creating a workplace design that promotes employee satisfaction and contentment is just as important as increasing productivity. Cubicle wall extenders can be an important part of the office layout process, but must be combined with a good hard look at inter-office dynamics and traffic flow within workplace to be truly effective.