A Post-layoff Morale Killer: The Cubicle Graveyard
Add vacant office cubicles to the long list of collateral damage wrought by mass layoffs. Lately, interior design firms see that as an opportunity during tough times. At the recent NeoCon World’s Trade Fair in Chicago, designers of office space say management would do well to come up with creative treatments for the "cubicle graveyard" phenomenon. In a presentation at the design show, architects from the California-based Genslerarchitecture and design firm discussed creative techniques for filling in what one described as “the void left behind.”
Chicago Tribune columnist Greg Burns was there, and offered this account: "Many businesses whacking employees in the fall and winter wanted only to survive another day. Now at least some are beginning to recognize that all that empty floor space presents an opportunity. Reconfiguring to make room for collaboration, socializing and shared learning can pay dividends relatively quickly, 'People are coming to their senses,' said Philippe Pare, a senior associate at Gensler. 'There is more acknowledgement of long-term perspective.' Reconfiguring to make room for collaboration, socializing and shared learning can pay dividends relatively quickly, Pare said. By attracting youthful talent and promoting innovation, he said, 'It can enhance your business.' No one said it’s an easy sell, as Gensler associate Doug Sitzes acknowledged: 'You’re being asked to not spend any money, but you have to do something,' he said. 'The answer may not be to just hunker down and hope for the best.' "
For more on managing layoffs, see these Knowledge at Wharton articles: