The office cubicle then known as ‘the action office 11′ was first designed in 1968, meant to give workers more freedom.
This was the second attempt of designer Robert Propst to create a workstation that gave people individual autonomy and the ability to work in a variety of settings.
People could personalize their space, while the idea was to give office workers a flexible space that allowed them to move seamlessly between their various individual and collaborative tasks.
The cost efficient office cubicle now almost 40 years old, is a somewhat partitioned space for one or several workers that has replaced the traditional individual office room.
“Cubicle” has got to be one of the most efficient words in the English language. Nothing so swiftly conjures up such a feeling of dread and drudgery. “We don’t have a lot of time on this Earth,” says the cubicle-dwelling protagonist of the great cult film “Office Space” (1999). “We weren’t meant to spend it this way.”
In part because the cubicle has become such a despised symbol of a bad office job, the gray, felt-covered walls are starting to come down. More open office plans with fewer or no partitions (or even long picnic tables serving as desks) are now all the rage. The irony is that the open office was exactly what the creator of the cubicle was trying to save us all from.
WHY DID THE OFFICE CUBICLE COME TO BE?
People hated working in open office plans. Open offices meant noise, a lot of it. Those that were used to private offices found that they could not concentrate because of all the talking and even typing. This led to managers allowing themselves more space than their juniors. By the 1970′s councils insisted that employees across the European continent be granted private offices and that is how the office cubicle became a huge part of the daily lives of the nine to fivers.
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