Cubicle vs. Cubical

By Jaxson

  • Cubicle

    A cubicle is a partially enclosed office workspace that is separated from neighboring workspaces by partitions that are usually 5–6 feet (1.5–1.8 m) tall. Its purpose is to isolate office workers and managers from the sights and noises of an open workspace so that they may concentrate with fewer distractions. Cubicles are composed of modular elements such as walls, work surfaces, overhead bins, drawers, and shelving, which can be configured depending on the user’s needs. Installation is generally performed by trained personnel, although some cubicles allow configuration changes to be performed by users without specific training.

    Cubicles in the 2010s are usually equipped with a computer, monitor, keyboard and mouse on the work surface. Cubicles typically have a desk phone. Since many offices use overhead fluorescent lights to illuminate the office, cubicles may or may not have lamps or other additional lighting. Other furniture that is often used in cubicles includes an office chair, a filing cabinet for locking documents away, a bookcase and a coatrack.

    The office cubicle was created by designer Robert Propst for Herman Miller, and released in 1967 under the name “Action Office II”. Although cubicles are often seen as being symbolic of work in a modern office setting due to their uniformity and blandness, they afford the employee a greater degree of privacy and personalization than in previous work environments, which often consisted of desks lined up in rows within an open room. They do so at a lower cost than individual, private offices. In some office cubicle workspaces, employees can decorate the walls of their cubicle with posters, pictures and other items.

  • Cubicle (noun)

    A small separate part or one of the compartments of a room.

    “Most libraries provide cubicles for quiet study.”

  • Cubicle (noun)

    A small enclosure at a swimming pool etc. used to provide personal privacy when changing.

  • Cubicle (noun)

    A small enclosure in a public toilet for individual use.

  • Cubical (adjective)

    Of or pertaining to a cube; cubic.


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