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April 28th is Cubicle Day!

Contrary to what its name might imply, though, Cubicle Day isn't a day about celebrating cubicles. Rather, it’s a day meant to upend the modular and conformist nature of Dilbert-esque office life. It’s a day meant to get a workplace out of its doldrums.

And TQUK is celebrating the fact that we don’t have to do any of that! (But you’ll see why in a moment.)

For those who don’t know, a cubicle is a partially enclosed office, separated from neighbouring workspaces by partitions. Imagine being in a box, with two connecting sides removed, and you’re facing inward. You may have seen them. They look like this:

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Yikes.

Cubicles are used for some pretty interesting reasons. It’s thought that putting up partitions between office workers isolates them from ambient noises, like ringing phones, typing and printing. They also work well in eliminating visual distractions, like your manager storming down the aisle to reprimand you for losing the Stockport account, or Jeff and Sophie making out in the copy room. Cubicles are one of the most familiar, popular and transformative pieces of office equipment in the modern era.

But there have been criticisms of cubicles. Some say they encourage cultures of conformity, drowning a worker’s sense of individuality in a sea of modular furniture.

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See, this guy is basically nobody.

Even George Nelson, the creator of the first widely used cubicle model, the Action Office II, said of his invention: ‘One does not have to be an especially perceptive critic to realise that AO II is definitely not a system which produces an environment gratifying for people in general. But it is admirable for planners looking for ways of cramming in a maximum number of...corporate zombies.”

Damn.

In order to combat these drawbacks, Cubicle Day sets aside a time when offices, beset by the cube-farm scourge, have the opportunity to make their workspaces a bit livelier. All over social media on Cubicle Day, companies will be posting pictures of cubicles rearranged according to Feng Shui, cubicle walls hung with Persian rugs, cubicle partitions fringed with cut-out paper snowflakes.

Sounds nice. But for Cubicle Day, TQUK doesn’t have to do any of that stuff. We’re open plan.

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Pretty, no?

Just look at how open we are.

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It’s REALLY open, man.

Offices that use cubicles tend to be a bit grey, stale and flat. TQUK is somewhat spoiled, office-space-wise, here at Dunham House. We’re flanked by colour on one side

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That’s the bluest blue I’ve ever seen.

and poetry on the other.

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The office doth not protest too much, methinks.

We don’t even have to crane our necks up to look out the window – on every side we have views like this:

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Could do with fewer gorgeous clouds but, you know, whatever.

We also feel ambient noise gets a bad rap. The creators of the cubicle wanted to eliminate ambient noise. And while there’s plenty of ringing phones at TQUK, there’s also the Spotify playlists of our co-workers filling the air. (Kenny Loggins’s Dangerzone plays about five times a day. Some people would think this would be annoying. We disagree.)

But there’s one area where cubicles have us beat.

Earlier today, I came across Ash, our excellent Business Development Manager, looking slightly and uncharacteristically forlorn.

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When I asked him what was wrong, he said he had printed out a lovely photo of his favourite footballer, David Beckham, and was looking forward to placing it somewhere on his desk. But he couldn’t tack it onto his computer or place it anywhere on his desk. I caught this lonely snap of him trying to tape the photograph in question onto the empty air.

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Heartbreaking. If only he had a cubicle wall to pin it to...

But we’re working on it. For now, we’ve taped the photo to the nearby wall so Ash can at least carry on his work under Beckham’s charming, knee-melting smile.

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If you want to keep up to date with the goings-on in our office, return to our blog or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

See you out there!