Dilbert, the comic-strip, may have been the first to make fun of “cubicle farms” as a quaint term that exemplified the cramped white-collar professional work spaces delineated by cubicle walls. However, they won’t be the last. The concept of the cubicle may be coming to an end with Millennials who clearly favor open, egalitarian, spaces.
The Pros and Cons of Cubicles
Cubicles tend to reduce noise levels in the office and create rigid personal spaces that other workers learn to respect. This can be an ideal work environment for highly technical people who need to concentrate on the job at hand, to the exclusion of all other social activities. A larger cubicle or a corner office with a door used to be seen as a sign of higher status in the office, which also was a perk given to workers higher in rank, not those starting an entry level job. However, the whole ideal of cubicles is something that may eventually be outdated with the way the newest generation thinks and how it works.
Why Generation Y Likes Open Spaces More
Status-seeking is looked down upon by Millennials who also aren't big on strictly personal space. They grew up in large peer groups and crowdsourced their solutions at school and will continue this style of work even as they enter the corporate world. They like to multi-task and often want background noise to help them concentrate. That means that a younger worker in a fresh graduate job actually requires an open space, versus cubicles, as a way to facilitate their social interactions and job function. They also value flexibility in the work place, which is enabled by less rigid work areas and roles. If you want to attract a Millennial candidate at FirstJob.com, make sure showcase the open-spaced workplace environment in your job description after you register.
Sean Little is the VP of Marketing for FirstJob.com. FirstJob matches current students and recent college graduates with internships and quality career opportunities. Sean also runs FirstJob’s campus ambassador program at campuses across the country, helping students learn marketing topics while connecting them with top brands and job opportunities.