In today’s professional age, you’re never too young to get cozy in a cubicle.
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A creative mom of eight has reconfigured a room in her home to serve as a virtual learning study space by deploying a go-to seating arrangement from the office days of yore: cubicles.
Heather James of Tempe, Ariz., said that the school year began with a “nightmare” of a start, as seven of her eight children struggled to get the hang of their new, partly online learning regimen, Insider reported on Wednesday.
James’ kids range in age from 10 to 20, and their mom said that the dining room, kitchen table and couches just weren’t cutting it as makeshift classroom space.
"I was over it, and I didn't have a ton of time to problem-solve," the nurse told the outlet.
Determined to make the grade, James bought six cubicles and office chairs for $600 and transformed the family’s entertainment room in a classroom for her middle school, high school and college students.
"They've made a huge difference," she said of the personal dividers. “They love it so much that they're trying to figure out a way to leave them up all year so they can study and do homework back there."
When she’s away at work, James said her kiddos rely on the desk nooks to stay focused on their studies and maintain “a sense of normalcy,” thanks to the physical barrier between school and home.
The practical parent said that her kids will still study in other places throughout the house, with extra space in the cubicle block often available for friends to come over and use, too.
In one shining example, James said that one of her daughters was able to pull her grades up from failing to Bs after buckling down in her own personal cubicle.
Amid a future of uncertainty, the proud parent is hopeful that the designated study space will make all the difference for her students.
"It's taught them that adult life lesson that if you have a dedicated place to do work or study, you are so much more productive," James said.
In late September, the Associated Press reported that a bona fide desk shortage was sweeping the nation due to COVID-19. Rakuten Intelligence reported that online, sales of desks and accessories, like chairs and lamps, surged 283% in August from the year prior as kids returned to the classroom — remotely.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.