The Birth of Office Cubicles

By: Christopher Carter

It started back in the sixties. For decades, before the birth of the office cubicle, offices had been designed around the hierarchy of "boss vs subordinate. A typical commercial floor plan showed rows and rows of desks surrounded by a series of small, private offices. Support workers were visible and vulnerable to distraction. There work area was devoid of personalization and ignorant of personal work style.

In 1968, the first iteration of the movable office cubicle was introduced. It was designed by Robert Probst, often dubbed the "father of the office cubicle". His idea spawned a workplace revolution that not only changed the way offices looked but the way people worked. The idea was to have the office cubicle's components -- the partitions and the desks and shelves attached to them -- completely mobile, so that offices could be remade overnight rather than over months. And because of the proximity of shelves to desks, paperwork and other materials were easily accessible, not filed away in cabinets or remote bookcases. MAiSPACE has taken those original office cubicle concepts and created a beautiful, stackable office furniture system. MAiSPACE designs are far removed from Scott Adam's "Dilbert" looking monolithic office cubicle. Office cubicles, by their very name, evoke images of a maze of regimented boxes and sterile, uniform impersonal work space. MAiSPACE allows companies to create a visually appealing footprint while target the needs of their employees, making them productive and comfortable.

Thinking outside the "office cubicle" box, MAiSPACE's design incorporates flexibility and function to allow workspaces to look attractive while being completely efficient. The ability to stack and de-stack panel segments provides staggered wall heights and removes the boxy office cubicle feel. With over 15 tile options, including three types of glass, on 3 ? " thick panels, MAiSPACE promotes visibility and privacy, simultaneously. You can get the architectural feel of a substantial office cubical with excellent acoustical properties, without feeling "boxed in."

Office cubicles do serve a purpose. They allow companies to make more efficient use of vertical space and thereby lets them use less square footage which can be very expensive in most commercial real estate markets. By putting books, manuals, files and personal effects above the work surface, businesses are able to save valuable floor space and put more people in a smaller area. However, over zealous facility managers and corporate executives began putting smaller office cubicles into thoughtlessly designed block plans in an effort to maximize worker density and save money.

MAiSPACE understands the thought process behind the office cubicle mentality. But MAiSPACE also saves companies money by providing quality, low cost furniture with options that make the "office cubicle" attractive while increasing floor space efficiency. Special features like off-modular capabilities, stacking and de-stacking panels, desk height power and data, and top to bottom lay-in cabling, give designers and facilities managers the tools they need to make the office functional, beautiful and cost effective without being cubicle-like.

However, the austere quality for which cubicle-filled offices were criticized was entirely intentional. Originally the office cubicle was stripped down to encourage employees to decorate and leave their own imprint on their workstation creating an individual identity. The idea was that if someone is happy and "at home" in their office cubicle, they would be more productive. Today, MAiSPACE has taken the intent of the office cubicle to the next level. The product is artfully designed and offers literally thousands of fabric and finish option combinations to make the feel of the office cubicle "homey". Features that such as tackable acoustic tiles, work tool rails or slat wall, white boards and non-handed components with off-modular capabilities, allow workers to be both productive and express their individual identities. Office cubicles become a warm and cozy, comfortable workspace.

Another important advantage of the office cubicle over conventional furniture was the ability to make the workstation ergonomically correct. The MAiSPACE system is flexible and adjustable to meet individual preferences. The user creates a comfortable environment by determining the optimal placement of panel-hung components, adjustable at 1 inch increments; having flexible non-handed orientation for the workstation; and curvilinear work surfaces with cascade edges. Keyboard trays and tool rail tiles allow for easy access to work tool. Incorporating the effectiveness and well-being aspects of ergonomics into office cubicle furniture purchases can produce cost benefits in terms of significant reduction of workman's compensation, insurance expenditures and absenteeism and most importantly increased productivity through worker satisfaction.

For those who know that office cubicle really is the right solution for their building, their corporate culture and the space, they can be assured that by using Maispace their financial goals can be met beautifully. You no longer have to choose between function, frugality and fabulous. Our in-house design service can show you how. In order to more fully develop actual product specifications and costs, Maispace will provide a professional in-house design team to produce the best and most cost effective layout, not only to satisfy your current staffing demands, but also to help you plan ahead. Our designers understand your facility issues and employ the most appropriate office cubicle product applications. They can offer suggestions for our fabrics and finishes that will make your office beautiful and functional.

You can break out of the office cubicle mold. Bring style, design and function to your corporate workspace with the quality of Maispace's beautifully designed, budget friendly products.

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