Meta ditches open plan office structure to bring back cubicles

Meta is bringing back office cubicles and putting to end open plan office spaces in response to noisy video calls made to remote workers.

Bosses at the social media giant are introducing new curved movable cubicles, coined “The Cube” internally, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The new arrangement features three soft screens made of “felt-like recycled PET plastic” that envelop a worker’s desk and block out noise.

They are being rolled out in response to the rise of disruptive video calls being made in the office, the report claimed.

“What we realised is that, as a result of the pandemic and people working from home, that folks needed an environment to Zoom, to videoconference, and it’s very hard to do in an open office without interrupting other folks,” Meta vice president of global real estate and facilities John Tenanes said.

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Over the course of the past 20 years, walls and dividers were pulled down in office spaces to promote more collaborative work spaces, with Facebook inspiring many startups to adopt this move in the early 2000s.

Mark Zuckerberg’s firm says it is attempting to avoid returning to the cubicle culture of the 70s and 80s by introducing its own design.

The Cube helps to asorb sound instead of reflecting and echoing it around colleague’s workspaces.

Meta claims that its new design reduces sound levels by approximately 20 decibels.

According to Tenanes, average office conversations generate noise ranging from around 55 to 60 decibels.

The move comes as businesses continue to find the perfect hybrid work balance and ensure remote work is productive.

Last week, US retail giant Amazon became the latest big corporation to order its staff back in at least three days a week.

The British Council for Offices claims workers should have around 10 square metres of space each.



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