Here’s where I labor five days a week. It’s my first cubicle, also known as a “cube” or a “cubby.” (I had my own office at all the ad agencies and magazines I worked for.)
When I stand up, I can see over the partition walls by about a nose. And we talk to each other through/over the partitions all the time. I have the graphic designer and the two production artists in my quad. Sometimes one or more of us have headphones on, and you can tell because you’ll say their name, but get no response, so there’s this pregnant pause.
I started my career in a business newsroom at a daily paper, so I can write news amidst chaos, but I prefer quiet now, especially for creative writing, so I use noise-reduction headphones and classical music to help me concentrate.
To me, cubicles are neutral, rather than evil. They can be done tastefully and ergonomically, with great lighting and a comfortable chair. An especially important aspect is who your neighbors are, and of course, what you are doing in your cube. Engaging, creative work can be done in just about any environment.
Oh, and what do I do in my cubby? I write marketing material to convince lawyers in my state to get their required continuing education credits from the State Bar Association. Yes, I swim with the sharks.