Evolution of the office

by scott pickard

Preparations are all already underway to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the introduction of the cubicle into the American office scene. The man called the father of the cubicle — Bob — was asked to characterize the legacy of his brainchild and he said, “It seemed like a good idea at the time.”

The week-long festivities which some are calling the “Super Bowl of Office Furniture” will be held in Toledo, Ohio, which has the largest concentration of Red Roof Inns in the nation. Events will include workshops on cube art, hospitality cubes, a tradeshow showing the latest cubicle designs with a sneak preview of the industry’s new experimental models. The week ends with a gala dinner /dance hosted by once-good-golfer David Duval.

Not everyone is happy with the cubicle, though, and the discontent has sparked a revolution among office thought leaders promoting fresh ideas, such as: (a) telecommuting, the “second office”; (b) sprawling out your papers and laptop and muffin with bits of cream cheese on your table while talking annoyingly loud on your cell phone in a Starbucks, the “third office”; and now (3) the “fourth office,” TBD.

The “fourth office”

Just what the hell is it?  It’s just out of our reach, but visionaries have theories as to how the “fourth” will manifest itself.

“I see it as an office of the mind,” explains Dart Maxn, head curator of miscellaneous things at Milan’s Museum of Heavy Industrial Objects. “No paper, no calendars, no nothing! You carry everything around in your head. If it’s important you will remember it; if not, then you won’t remember it. It’s nature’s perfect system of prioritization.”

“For instance, if you miss an important meeting with your most important client, then you won’t get the sale. So in the fourth, companies will have smaller revenues but there will be no need for wastebaskets.”

One radical idea has been developed by Jason Calpt, parking lot security guard at a Fortune 500 Corporation, in charge of fixing the lift-gates when they break.

“It dawned on me one day that all those cars in the corporate parking lot were sitting empty all day and then whammo, it came to me: every car in the lot is an office!  Think about it. You’ve got space, privacy, HVAC, tunes, and adjustable leather seats.”

in general: boxoffice460 | capital planning/asset management system: | CCTV: Agility Video | search:, regus | shared facilities: wework | virtual office: | working at Google: facilities management: How often does the company evaluate the cost-effectiveness of its branch office(s)? | automated Irrigation: | on-demand asset lifecycle management: | quantified office: Robin used: heavy equipment: questions for landlord: How long have you been renting to the company?  How many square feet does the company rent from you?  Does the company make its rent payments on time?  Have you ever had to contact the company to get your payment?  Does the company maintain the property in good condition?  Would you rent to the company again? books: Corporate Interiors Yee | The Other Office: Creative Workplace Design Stewart

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Tickets to the 40th anniversary of the cubicle will be available soon.