The cubicle farm of the recent past seemed like a good idea when it was first introduced. They looked modern as all get-out compared to the dark, business monasteries that preceded them and they were made of ‘space age’ materials that seemed to point the way to the future. Unfortunately, over time it became apparent that cubicle farms were much better at crushing the spirit and breaking the bodies of workers then they were at promoting productivity. A new phrase even entered the lexicon – “death by cubicle” – that let business owners know exactly how staff came to feel about the cubicle experience. Although it took some time cubicle farms eventually began to give way to the completely open plan, which transformed the office from a soul-crushing maze into a noise factory where privacy was discarded and highly-skilled, highly-paid professionals were forced to work at call-center-like benches. It didn’t take long to realize a middle path was called for and smart businesses across the USA soon began to embrace office partitions as a result.
Office Partitions from I-M-T: Get more from your space
The idea behind the open office plan is one with serious merits but, as is usually the case, too much of a good thing is not such a good thing.
● Why don’t open plans work? – The conceit of the open plan is that people will suddenly be free to collaborate without walls getting in the way. They’ll come up with great ideas and help each other see those ideas to fruition. In reality different people work in different ways and almost everyone needs a place to be alone and think. An office that doesn’t accommodate this aspect of human nature is an office that doesn’t work.
● Why not just put partitions around the benches? – By doing so you’d basically be recreating the already discredited cubicle farms and it’s a pretty sure bet you’d alienate a good portion of your staff in the process. The goal of office planning is not just to install walls everywhere, it’s to determine how many walls of what type are actually needed and how best to distribute them in a way that preserves open, collaborative areas but also provides for those occasions when greater focus is required.
● How can office partitions help? – The need for greater and lesser degrees of privacy needs to be respected and that’s where careful office planning using partitions from I-M-T comes in. Movable partitions allow for the useful division of space where people are able to transition easily from one work mode to another either alone or as a team. Semi-private and private work areas become an adjunct of the open space; places where ideas can be hashed out without interference or where conversations can occur away from prying eyes and ears.
● What about my technology infrastructure? – There’s no doubt that with a completely open plan you won’t have to worry about walls getting in the way of running cables, cords and other tech related infrastructure. However, all movable wall partitions from I-M-T are designed to easily accommodate today’s technology and to make it easy to upgrade down the line. It’s as easy as removing the utility access panel, running your new cable through and replacing the panel. While it seems increasingly likely that future tech will be moving away from cables and other data components you’ll still have the ability to mix and match older and newer tech without skipping a beat.
● What if my company can’t afford partitions? – No one installs partitions in their office just to be fashionable. You install office partitions from I-M-T because, when thoughtfully deployed, they will help your company become more efficient, more effective in responding to challenges and ultimately more profitable. Not only that but should you decide to relocate your office your modular partitions go with you. When viewed in that light the question then becomes “How can my company afford not to install office partitions?”
● Is there someone at I-M-T that can help me plan my space using movable partitions? – Of course. The design professional at I-M-T will be happy to sit down with you and help you determine an appropriate layout for your space and how many of which type of movable wall partitions you’ll need. It’s our job to help our clients devise spatial solutions that add value and not simply add walls.
Office partitions from I-M-T are helping scores of companies in the USA regain their competitive edge by providing leading edge organizational solutions that look forward to the new age of business without forgetting that it’s human beings we’re designing for. If you’d like to learn more about how office partitions can transform your open plan office into a hybrid productivity machine give us a call and ask to speak to one of our designers. You can also read more about our office wall partitions products at I-M-T.