Cubicles no more reflect the modern office structure! What is your take on this?
Having worked in both an open office environment and a partitioned office, I have to say I am still undecided as to which I prefer. Whilst it is true that a partitioned office restricts collaboration and can produce a sterile atmosphere, an open office offers a great deal more distraction, less privacy and therefore more intrusion into the work of individuals.
Being an introvert myself, I require as little distraction as possible in order to fully commit myself to a task. For example, if I'm working on a drawing and someone starts chatting to me about football it throws me off my creative track completely! Furthermore, there may be someone in your office who is a chatter-box/avid snacker/has a chronic cough or someone you have a genuine disagreement with; their unobstructed close proximity will most certainly impact on your productivity! I imagine an office full of people coughing and sneezing in the winter months also makes for very unpleasant working conditions.
Conversely, there have been times when I have worked alone in a partitioned office and longed for a simple conversation to pass the day. This is why common areas and opportunities for breaks are so crucial for office workers, and I believe can be a major boost to productivity.
What it really comes down to, is that everyone is different and works best in different environments. The size of the office is also a factor for consideration. I currently work in a small open office environment with 5 other people, and this I feel is sufficient size for me to concentrate on my work without major distraction. However, I am privileged in that I get on very well with my colleagues.
I can't think of any examples of perfect office architecture off hand - the continuing trend certainly seems to be towards the open office; but I would be very interested to hear other people's opinions on this...