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Offices begin offering private workspaces, cubicles amid return-to-office push

In order to lure more employees back to in-person work, employers are starting to offer perks like private workspaces and cubicles.

Video Transcript


- Open floor plans in the office are out. And cubicles, believe it or not, are back in. The latest craze in the world of return-to-office, quote, "seated privacy." Workers apparently looking for spaces to have private conversations and rooms to hang their hats, preferably behind closed doors or in this case a cubicle with some sort of separation between coworkers.

Rochelle, not a fan of the cubicle. It makes me think of "Office Space" and that grotesque office environment. I love the open space that we have here at Yahoo. How about you?

- I mean, "Office Space" is one of my favorite movies, but it really does sort of dive into that culture of almost like feeling like you're trapped when everything is so uniform and so the same. I do get that idea, especially if you are sort of returning to work, of having-- so some of that level of privacy. But still, I mean, if you want to ask someone something, you can just sort of pop your head up. But I don't know. I'm a fan of open space, the open floor plan. I'm not-- I don't love the cubicle. What about you, Seana?

- You know, if you have a cubicle, it kind of takes away the main argument that managers have of bringing their employees back to the office. They want you in the office in order to make it easier to collaborate with your employees. If you're all sitting in cubicles, you're much more shut off than from everyone around you.

And let's also face it. They also made the argument in this story that is for privacy concerns. You can-- it better enables you to have a private conversation. You could still hear very easily just over that wall. It's not going all the way up to the ceiling. So I'm with you guys. I'm a big fan of the open floor space. I think it makes collaborating with your coworkers so much easier. And it also fosters some energy into the day, too.

- Yeah, you know, it's interesting the role real estate developers are now playing in this whole return to office because they're having to develop these office spaces and these buildings entirely based on these trends. So that's the next trend that you're going to see. It's not the employer, not the office manager, but the developer who's in charge of bringing back employees.

- Yeah. I don't know. It's-- I'm hoping this trend doesn't really take off here. I'm a big fan of the open floor, but I think a lot of people are still a bit worried about--

- Oh, I'd be in "Office Space," like kicking down the wall--

- Yeah, I know. Yes.

- --if you put up a cubicle around me. No way.