Why Cubicles Should be Cancelled in 2019
It’s a familiar scene. Grey carpeted floors, beige walls, cubicles, and fluorescent lights. Every cube provides just enough space to turn to the left to type on the computer or turn to the right to answer the phone. Some cubicle spaces are more generous than this, and some offices have incorporated brightly colored walls or art work – but in 2019, cubicle work no longer needs to be the norm.
With technology and Social Media changing everything in our lives from how we date to how we find recipes and get referrals for a new dentist it would be fair to suggest that the reign of the cubicle as the standard workspace can also be pivoted to a new reality.
The World That Cubicles Served
The cubicle came into being in the 1960’s, originally to give people privacy from the “Open office” environment. The cubicle went on to become a $3 billion industry. Over time, the cube has switched from being a vehicle of autonomy to a means of cramming more people into smaller spaces.
The answer is not to open up the office floor plan again, but rather to look at alternative ways of working.
Alternatives to Cubicle Hell
Instead of simply searching for a job that doesn’t involve a cubicle try out one of these alternatives to cube life. (Or cube hell, as some would say!)
Not all jobs require you to be on site. With technology advancing, you can conference into an office using programs like Skype or Zoom. You can keep track of important projects through Trello, Basecamp or Asana. You can store and share documents through Google Drive or Dropbox.
There’s a myth out there that a lot of legit remote jobs don’t exist – and it is just that – a myth. While applying and landing a fully remote gig may require a new set of skills, you can also meet with your current boss or team and propose a remote or partly remote solution. You won’t know if you don’t ask!
Take What You Are Good at on The Road
You don’t have to become a Digital Nomad or Laptop Lifestyle Guru – unless you want to! You can take an existing skill set and form it into a very profitable freelance or consulting career. The idea is simply to take something you already do, and do it from home or anywhere, with clients that you bring in yourself. Instead of relying for a boss to put projects onto your desk and dreading the stacks of files and that one light in the corner that blinks on and off at random times – you can control the working environment and the projects that you take on.
Be careful not to poach clients from your already existing office environment. This can bring trouble if the company has certain rules and will give you a bad reputation. It may not be an overnight success. Many people who begin to transition their skills from the office space to the online world find that establishing their brand and obtaining clients they actually want to work with is a challenge.
Re-Train to a More Active Career Field
Maybe you’re thinking to yourself, “Nah, I don’t want to in a cubicle, but I don’t want to start my own company or try to negotiate with my boss for a more remote role. I want something different entirely.”
If that thought is the case, consider re-training for a more active career field where you can move around more during your day, or spend time outside.
There’s More Than One Way. It’s Time to Cancel the Cubicle
No matter which solution you choose, you absolutely can ditch the cubicle in 2019. Cubicles were made in a bygone era to solve a problem – from that era. Nowadays, cubicles are a symbol of dread, of being “boxed in” and surrounded by and yet isolated from all the people in the adjoining cubes.
If the cube helps you to focus and gives you privacy to get work done, more power to you. If the cubicle makes you claustrophobic, it’s time to make a plan, take some action and cancel the cubicle in 2019.