Thursday, April 4, 2013

Bye-bye, cube farms?

Ben Kesling and James R Hagerty, WSJ, Apr 3, 2013, says the same companies who created the ever-popular cubicle are now thinking of ways to eliminate it.

More sales--makes sense.

These companies--Herman Miller, Haworth--are convincing customers that more informal, floating groupings of chairs and tables enhance productivity and creativity.

They studied how people work--sometimes large conference rooms were used by two people. This led to smaller "focus" rooms.

The walls on the cubes went lower, then were taken out. Then came the um...downturn...everything stopped. But now it's picking up.

The companies offer design services--they sell interiors, not furniture.

Younger workers like to work in corners, coffee shops--the don't need "walls" to have status.

The furniture companies attached sensors to chairs to see how often people sat in each one--sometimes they were empty 80% of the day.

Some CEOs even like to circulate and plop down where people are sitting in chairs, working.

But some other CEOs still like the wall thing. What about you?

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