Bodhisutra
Manager, Operations
TheTrainingSpecialist
Training And Development
Thesocialdoctor
Senior Manager - Human Resources
Jananijay
Student
+1 Other

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According to Indian scenario, do Office Cubicles Have An Impact On Employee Productivity especially on those who are working in IT industry?
Hello Jananijay,

You have posted a very important question.

Apart from IT industry this question has a lot of significance to other industries as well. Considering the fact that maintaining productivity to deliver is a critical factor for most organizations today.

Let us look at your question in a real life scenario within the IT industry.

Scenario 1

A department is working on an critical IT related project which requires multiple communication modes with external vendors, developers, third party organizations, etc. An enclosed cubicle would ensure more concentration of task, individual space, conference facilities & privacy for the employees.

This is also important as in the IT domain, employees who are involved in the UAT format of job specifications have to keep working on the same task again and again. This may lead to frustration if the employee does not have a suitable work environment. The idea here is to ensure appropriate resources to reduce errors for better delivery timelines.

Scenario 2

A department is working on a temporary project and the department will be dissolved post project. Some organizations to save cost do not want to purchase or sign a lease agreement with vendors for office setup on such account. In some organizations unstructured tables and chairs are organized to get the task going.

Over the long term such practices have proved to be counter productive and de-motivating as well. Let me explain!!!!!! If employees do not have a barricade that ensures some amount of privacy; they end up discussing more things than what is related to the project. This is not bad as socializing at work is important. However, timelines tend to get more stretched.

Secondly, if the office setup is temporary, it reminds everyone of the underlying question. What Happens To Us After The Project? This eventually leads to demotivation, gossip, etc....An office cubicle will surely not stop such behaviour but why to create an environment that encourages such behaviour.

Scenario 3

Many working individuals spend a higher number of their daily hours at work. Most are emotionally attached to their workplace and do it up with pictures, religious figures/idols, etc. A cubicle environment ensures they have that emotional freedom to be comfortable with who they are and what they believe in.

Contrary to this, there are many organizations that have cubicles to ensure a smooth work environment and no one is allowed to decorate their cubicles as it is not their property and an asset that belongs to the organization.

Be it in India or across the Globe, employees should be given a proper work environment as it is a non negotiable from the organization.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT - HOW CAN AN ORGANIZATION BLAME ITS EMPLOYEES FOR POOR PRODUCTIVITY WHEN THEY HAVE NOT PROVIDED THE RIGHT RESOURCES?

Productivity issues should be the problem of the Manager and the Performance Management System.

These are my individual views as of what I have experienced in person. However, your needs to ask this question may be different.

Regards,

The Training Specialist

Can not say it only has adverse impact completely, it has both pros and cons, gives freedom/privacy helps in concentration and avoid disturbances, to say, it mostly has pros than cons, but it does affect only when the person is under any kind of stress where he thrives/seek for attention, especially during mood swings, boredom, disappointments regarding his development as such, it also differs from one environment to another, like building structure and felicities, how it's planned and build (structure of cubicles), has good ventilation, air because in some offices they stink and lead to suffocation due to lot of reasons........ if we are not talking about such defective cubicles, then yeah they are mostly helpful, they make an employee feel the owner helping him to feel his self.............
It has got two sides both good and bad. It depends on the nature of project or work undertaken. For example if the project requires hectic consultations with cross functional teams then open office is desirable. If the project is speicic, focussed where it needs more attention of employees, then it is recommended to go for cubicles. One has to use discretion depending on the project.
Has any scientific study been done on this?
Is any data, link available. We can have our opinions but nothing will substitute a scientifically done study to collect and analyze data and build findings.

It depends on many things:
kind of employees (age group, demography, geography)
Size of company
Competitors
nature of projects
n many more
See its more about mindset, rather than impact on productivity, no set defined relation with productivity , either way.

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