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The Cubicle Dilemma: Pros and Cons of Cubicles vs. Open and Collaborative Workspaces

sitting at table

Welcome to the ultimate face-off between the tried-and-true cubicles and the shiny, open, and collaborative workspaces! It’s a clash of the titans, pitting privacy against collaboration, and silence against a symphony of ideas. While both workspaces have their advantages, our mission today is to take a deeper look into the pros and cons to determine the best situation for your workplace setup. So, grab your imaginary popcorn and let the battle begin!

Pros of Cubicles:

1. Privacy and Reduced Distractions: Cubicles are like cozy little caves, shielding you from the curious eyes and chatty distractions of your coworkers. Need to solve a complex problem or escape office gossip? Cubicles have your back! “Did you hear what so and so did last weekend?” Thankfully not!

2. Sound Reduction: Ever wish you had a fortress of solitude to drown out the background noise? Cubicles can be your noise-canceling headphones in the form of beige walls. Silence, please! Very busy over here!

3. Personalization and Ownership: Forget vanilla workspaces! Cubicles allow you to unleash your inner Picasso or interior designer. Deck out your space with family photos, quirky decorations, or maybe even a mini Zen garden. It’s your kingdom, and you’re the ruler!

Cons of Cubicles:

1. Limited Collaboration and Communication: You might feel like you’re stuck in a solitary confinement experiment when it comes to collaborating with your coworkers. Need to bounce ideas off someone?  Trying to hear each other quickly turns into a workplace game of whack-a-mole as you each pop up from the safe and quiet confines of your cube for a quick brainstorming sesh.

2. Reduced Natural Light: Cubicles can sometimes feel like dungeons, blocking that precious sunlight from gracing your work sanctuary. We all need that Vitamin D boost, but with cubicles, you’ll be feeling more like Count Dracula than a ray of sunshine. 

3. Perceived Hierarchy: Ah, the infamous game of cubicle one-upmanship. When cubicles come in various sizes, it can feel like a subtle reminder of who’s higher up on the office food chain. Are you the cubicle-dwelling commoner or the cubicle-castle owner? Let the hierarchy games begin!

Pros of Open and Collaborative Workspaces:

1. Enhanced Collaboration and Creativity: Open workspaces are like buzzing beehives of creativity, where ideas flow freely and collaboration is as natural as bees making honey. Need input, brainstorming sessions, or spontaneous dance-offs? Open workspaces have got you covered!

2. Improved Communication and Transparency: Say goodbye to sending emails back and forth or having to play hide-and-seek with your coworkers. In open workspaces, communication flows like a river, making it easier to build stronger relationships and have those water-cooler moments.

3. Flexibility and Adaptability: Open spaces are like office chameleons, adapting to the needs of your ever-changing projects and teams. Need to expand, shrink, or rearrange? Voila! It’s like playing office Tetris without the stress of trying to fit that stubborn L-shaped block.

Cons of Open and Collaborative Workspaces:

1. Noise and Distractions: Open workspaces can sometimes resemble a bustling bazaar, with conversations, phone calls, and the occasional sneeze blending into a symphony of sounds. Concentration can be a struggle, and noise-canceling headphones might soon become your secret weapon against acoustic chaos.

2. Lack of Privacy: Feeling like a fish in a fishbowl? In open workspaces, privacy can be as rare as a unicorn sighting. Need to have a confidential conversation or enjoy a moment of solitude? Time to perfect your stealthy ninja moves or invest in an invisibility cloak.

3. Potential for Overstimulation: Open workspaces are like amusement parks—full of thrilling rides and excitement. But for some, the constant sensory overload can be a rollercoaster of distraction and stress. It’s all fun and games until you can’t hear your inner voice because everyone uses their outer voice. If anyone needs me, I’ll be meditating in the supply closet to get some much-needed peace and quiet.

So, which side wins the battle in the epic Cubicle Dilemma? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. It’s about finding the sweet spot that suits your company culture, employee preferences, and work requirements. Consider creating designated spaces for focused work and private conversations within an overall open and collaborative layout. Embrace the cubicles’ cozy cocoons for deep thinking and individual tasks, while savoring the open spaces for team synergy and shared creativity. Remember, in this battle, there are no losers—just a dance of contrasts that keeps our work lives entertaining and vibrant.

Thinking of redesigning your office workspaces and need some inspiration?  Visit to see how we collaborate with you to create the best workspace for YOUR business.



ATS. Pros and Cons of Working in a Cubical Environment. ( Accessed June 9, 2023.

WeWork Ideas. Pros and Cons of an Open Office. ( Accessed June 9, 2023.