What makes for the most productive office environment… individual offices, cubicles, or wide open space?
The advantage of having your own office is that you can concentrate the best on your work as you are more isolated from sounds, sites, and other distractions. Without distractions we tend to be more comfortable, and being more comfortable usually translates into increased productivity. Also, having your own office makes you less intrusive to others during meetings and phone use. However, this situation definitely does not encourage team work and could possible give increased temptation to “screw-off” and do your own thing since you’re thoroughly isolated from others.
Then you have wide open work environments, such as the one we have here at Pole Position. This setup definitely has its fair share of both pros and cons. I like the fact that it takes almost no effort to communicate with others in the room. This can definitely make for some increased productivity. Also, I think having an open area encourages conversations about creative ideas. It becomes easy to “bounce” ideas off of each other. However, I’m one of those types that is most productive in absolute silence, making the current situation less then ideal. So it’s sort of a trade-off. Open areas are great for team dynamics but can greatly hinder the performance of the individual contributor.
I have been at a job in a cubicle, and I must say that I liked that situation the most out of the three. A cubicle is sort of the “best of both worlds”, allotting for some isolation from many distractions, but not enough to greatly hinder team dynamics.