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The Dangers of Cubicle Culture

Cluttered Desktop Milwaukee

Why Switching to Modern Workstations Improves Office Spaces

For many years, cubicles were seen as the only way to promote efficient work. Employees would each receive their own private space without requiring the expenses of individual offices. Yet as time went on, cubicles went from convenient to detrimental. Many workers complain of “cubicle culture”, workplaces where everyone is stuffed into small, identical cubicles without any real privacy or variety. Bern Boys, the office furniture experts of Milwaukee, have tips for avoiding the dangers of cubicle culture at your workplace through the use of modern workstations, technologically advanced cubicles, and standing desks.

The main problems of cubicle culture are:

Despite the name, it is not cubicles themselves which cause these problems. With Bern Office Systems, our interior planners will help you to avoid all of these problems. Learn more about what they are and how they affect productivity:

Office HeadphonesVolume

Cubicles with short or thin walls are not able to stop sound. Phone calls, music, chewing, and even loud typing can be distractions to workers. If multiple employees are making noise, it can become impossible for others to focus on their duties.

Since everyone can’t have a corner office where they can shut a door to keep sound out, it’s important to find workstations which will reduce noise. Many new cubicles from Bern Boys have additional height to better block sound. Sturdier materials also dampen sound.

Visual Distractions

Short cubicles which barely rise above an employee’s head can lead to visual distractions. Every time a coworker walks past, they can see it. If there is a constant stream of passersby, it won’t be long before people watching becomes easier than working.

To reduce visual distractions, Bern Boys supplies four-wall cubicles. The fourth wall allows for more workstation configurations, including facing away from the opening and potential passersby. Taller cubicles walls may also do the trick.


Cigarette Ends at OfficeIt’s an unfortunate truth that many people do not notice their own odors. They don’t realize their coworkers are gagging from the smell of their leftover fish lunch. Others may have body odor they are oblivious to. Flowers, cigarettes, perfumes, and air fresheners add to the unpleasant aromas. Regardless of the source of the smell, it is another workplace distraction.

While cubicle walls alone will not stop smells, having a separate area for employees to eat can reduce lunchtime odors. Providing additional space between workstations can also limit exposure to bad smells.


When one worker starts coughing, expect everyone near them to come down sick too. Germs are easily spread when workers do not have adequate cubicles to separate them. This causes overall productivity to decline as employees are constantly in and out on sick leave.

Lack of Space

Businesses which lack space often use cubicles to create the illusion of private workstations for every employee. Too many in one office can become a cube farm. Without any variety, workers will feel like drones.

At Bern Boys, our office space planning team will help you to maximize your current office space to give everyone their own work area. When we install your new furniture, we will use 3D space planning technology to ensure everything fits without taking up too much space.

Lack of Storage

Private Office DoorA large cubicle can feel very small when it’s packed with papers and boxes. A disorganized office is more than just an eyesore; it can cause important documents to get lost. Fortunately, modern cubicles from Bern Boys often have built-in storage units. There are even modular workstations which can have file cabinets, shelves, and drawers added at any time.

Lack of Privacy

Finally, cubicles can rob employees of any sense of privacy. Short walls, open entrances, and more can all cause workers to feel they are exposed. New workstations from Bern Boys will help you give your employees the coverage they need to feel comfortable at your workplace.

Different Businesses Benefit from Different Office Configurations

Before buying countless cubicles, it is best to determine which type of office will best promote productivity. If your workers will be on the phones most of the day making calls, they will probably need to be spaced out to avoid overlapping conversations becoming a distraction. Our team will help you make the right decision in buying ad arranging your new office furniture.

We offer new and used furniture pieces ranging from modern cubicles to ergonomically designed standing desks. Stop by our showroom to see everything we have to offer or call us for a quote!

Contact Bern Boys to arrange a visit to our Milwaukee furniture showroom or call to learn more.