Office Cubicle History

It’s hard to imagine the modern office without business cubicles for employees. Many companies opt for the even more streamlined and efficient approach of using cubicles rentals to create a flexible working environment. But how did cubicles come to dominate the office the way they have? The answer lies in the way a typical office worker does a job and what sort of environment increases most people’s overall level of efficiency at work.

The Original Office Setup

Business cubicles came into use in the 1960s, and it wasn’t until the later 20th century and early into the 21st century that cubicles for rent became commonplace. Prior to the use of cubicles, most employees worked in an open space with nothing more than a desk lined up in a row next to other employees’ desks. Only high-end executives got actual office space which allowed them to have a degree of privacy during their work. Designer Robert Propst then created the “action office,” which focused on having more lightweight and easily accessible resources per employee. This allowed for more on-hand resources and more effective customization on a worker by worker basis.

The Revised Action Office

Despite Propst’s ambitious plans, the initial Action Office idea failed because it required more customization than most businesses were willing to give to their employees. Faced with the reality of costs and the fact that businesses weren’t willing to spend more money than absolutely necessary to improve employee comfort, Propst instead created the modern cubicle. These cubicles used modular walls and lightweight furniture to create a screen that allowed for some privacy while also offering enough flexibility to place many employees together in the same room. The flexible design also allowed for different desks to have different resources, which eventually became a major factor in cubicle rental years down the road.

Changes in Tax Code

In addition to the flexibility offered by the business cubicle structure, the United States tax code changed in the 1960s to allow businesses to write off certain types of furniture. Prior to this change, companies typically only bought office furniture if it was sturdy enough to last for decades. The change in tax write-offs created a larger demand in the United States for the cubicle format. In time, this trend spread to other countries such as Canada, eventually leading to the modern model where companies can seek out cubicles for rent if they need a business solution that offers even more flexibility. While the fine details of the cubicle model have changed over the years, the overall system has proven flexible and effective enough to last for more than half a century.

Cubicles came into existence thanks to the modernization of typical business structures. The cubicle model offers a flexible and customizable way to allow employees to do their jobs without losing their privacy. When it comes to cubicles rentals, companies can also target rental options that allow for helpful shared resources, such as printers and faxes, to allow employees even more flexibility within their own spaces.

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