For the last umpteen years I've worked in a cubicle. I've worked at several places and the cubicles have different features in each place...which kind of mirrors the personality of the company.
For instance, when I was at Big National Bank, my cubicle had tall walls and a doorway type opening. It had virtually the same privacy as an office. The tall walls helped buffer sound which made it easier to work without distractions and easier to talk with clients on the phone.
When I was at Groovy Independent Mortgage Company, the cubicles had low walls. If you stood up you could see the person in the cubicle to the front of you and the person in the cubicle to the back. Everyone's cubicle was facing in the same direction and there were mirror image cubicles across the aisle. This company liked to think of themselves as very progressive and employee friendly. I did well there I was a good fit with their work philosophy. But, the cubicle set up seems sort of factory like. The company production requirements were continuously increased.
I remember joking that I felt like Lucy Ricardo when she and Ethel worked at the chocolate candy factory. Just when they got competent the supervisor came and sped up the assembly line. It started going so fast that the only way they could keep up was by taking short cuts. You know...not wrapping each and and every candy perfectly. So, the next time the supervisor came in...it looked like they were keeping up. Of course the supervisor then sped up the assembly line. That is almost exactly what it was like working at Groovy Independent Mortgage Company.
My last job, the Hip Entrepreneurial Bank that specialized in lending to start up companies, had an urban loft setting. The office is actually in a converted warehouse loft. There is lots of exposed brick and exposed duct work. Executives and mangers had varying size and style offices. The majority of us were in work station pods. In the photos from my last job you can see that the there is a very low divider between work stations and my desk didn't have side walls. We were all exposed with zero separation. As you can imagine, the noise level got quite high with everyone being on the phone or talking over the dividers to each other. Even if you didn't want to, you couldn't help but hear other people's conversations. I didn't really have a problem with this because I have an uncanny way of immersing myself in my work...so much so that when someone called my name I was almost always startled.
So, my new job with my own office is a breath of fresh air. I don't have to work so hard to concentrate and block out noise. And I'm incredibly productive...because there is very little distraction. So far, I love it.
Have a great weekend.