The Corner Office Cubicle as an Executive Perk.

The office cubicle is only a stepping stone to a bigger office, the thinking goes. Senior officers shouldn’t be put in an ordinary office cubicle, they should be put in an office of their own! One with real hardwood office furniture and not the usual particleboard crap of the hoi polloi!

The corner office, though, is more and more becoming a thing of the past. Real power can reside from a corner office cubicle, not an oak-panelled corner office.

Hizzoner Works from an Office Cubicle

Consider the mayor of New York City. Michael Bloomberg got rid of private offices and settled on an open office cubicle design that mimicked a Wall Street trading floor. “Walls are barriers,” Bloomberg told Time Magazine, “and my job is to remove them.”

A 2007 renovation upgraded the bullpen, adding a sweet flatscreen TV to the mix:

Pimp My Cubicle: Five Awesome Cubicle Do-Overs.

To break the monotony of the typical office cubicle, more workers are spending a lot of money on “pimp my cubicle” one-upmanship. Blame the uniformity of the cubicle farm; office cubicles are a damned efficient way of corralling a large workforce into a single workspace, but the mind craves variety.

I don’t know about you, but when the first time I tried to pimp my cubicle, I worked with a really low budget – and cheap clods like me began with action figures. Dollies for men. Surely you can’t be a sissy if your office cubicle action figures come from the hit show Futurama could you?

ThinkGeek sells three sets of Futurama action figures, including the star-crossed duo of Leela and Zapp Brannigan (pictured above – with the awesome addition of Richard Nixon’s head in a jar!).

Moving up the budget scale, indulge your Formula One fantasies by buying a RaceChair – an actual seat from a real-live sports car, lovingly transformed into a static office chair. How’s that for a comedown? One moment, you’re a critical collaborator on Lewis Hamilton’s Formula One team, the next, you’re warming a midlevel manager’s expanding backside.

RaceChairs cost as low as $2,000, but may go for over $11,000, in the case of a seat stripped from a Lamborghini LP640 Murcielago.

More pimped-out cubicles after the jump.         (read more)

Micro Management: Some Small Office Design Tips to Remember.

The rules are very different for stocking a small office: the best small office design ideas don’t use the same rules as big offices. Yes, you too need to create an orderly, productive environment – but no, you don’t have as much space to work with, and chances are you have a smaller margin for error.

Working with a small office design forces you to zero in on your needs, fast. Do you expect frequent client visits? Then you’ll need furniture that leaves a good impression. No patchy second-hand furniture, or worse, wildly inappropriate furnishing choices (one small travel agency I visited this week had, I kid you not, a bed).

Is the industry you’re working in a stable one? You might think about leasing furniture to stock your small office. On the other hand, choosing to buy your furniture outright may keep your budget low, and compel you to buy only the stuff you really need.

Tough questions like these can help you decide what furniture you need to be productive in your small office. Some things will always stay constant: a decent desk; a comfortable chair; a telephone; a PC.

If you’re working from home, your work and personal facilities should be separate, or as separate as possible. Have a separate phone line for work, so you don’t miss important calls from clients if your kid is on the line.

Think of your power consumption – can your small office location cope with the extra wattage you’ll need to consume for your enterprise? Do you have enough power outlets to cope with a PC, desk light, printer, scanner, and fax machine all sucking up juice at the same time?

Finally, you should add a light touch to your small office design – a painting in the right place, or a photo frame of your husband and kids can lighten the mood in your small office. Ransack your personal wants and needs to create an office that’s not just a pleasure to work in, but also a place you want to visit again and again. The alternative is just too horrible to contemplate!

Office Cubicle Installation in a Little Over an Hour.

Cubicle installation isn’t a long, tiresome process anymore, at least not since the Sixties. When Herman Miller introduced their Action Office 2 (AO2) cubicle system, they introduced the open plan office into the business lexicon. They also made tedious office cubicle installation a thing of the past.

Take this example from Cubesolutions - this video shows a timed cubicle installation session, transforming a bare space into a 500-cubicle set in just over an hour. You’ve got to see it to believe it – office cubicle installation in a flash, giving you a complete office in the time it takes to finish your lunch!

Of course, the video leaves out the hard work done before the partitions are locked in place. The cubicle provider needs to know the dimensions of the work area, the type of cubicles that need to be installed, the type of electronics that will be used (AO2 cubicles accommodate cabling, but these need to be determined beforehand).

Our guys got this down pat, too – cubicle installation services and more. Ring us up if you want this kind of speedy magic pulled off in your workspace.

Click here to see Cubicle Installation video

This Week in Innovative Office Furniture Design.

office furniture, menorah by SOM, winner

Image © SOM / Colin Gorsuch.

The office furniture manufacturer Steelcase just concluded its 10th annual Wreath and Menorah Design Competition last December 3, with architecture firm Skidmore, Owing and Merrill bagging the top prize.

More info on the contest and the winner, after the jump.                 (read more)

Call Center Workers Appreciate Ergonomic Thinking.

Earlier we discussed new thought on ergonomics – namely, how we’ve discovered that movement is essential to proper ergonomics, not proper posture.

Therefore, comfort and long-term protection from injury doesn’t come from knees locked at a ninety-degree angle all the time. Proper ergonomics comes from adjusting one’s chair, stretching extremities, resting one’s eyes from looking at the monitor, or standing every few minutes to avoid being locked in a seated position for hours on end.

One group of office workers is extremely grateful for this new ergonomic thinking – call center workers, who suffer a great deal from the injuries that come with bad ergonomic habits.    (read more)

Office Interior Design Helps Heal Patients.

A doctor’s office layout can help greatly in facilitating her patients’ well being – a consultation room’s interior design can improve the quality of a visit, the Mayo Clinic announced in a new study.

These surprising findings were revealed through a randomized trial published in Health Environments Research and Design Journal. The Space and Interaction Trial tested a new office interior design, which had both patient and physician facing a computer screen at a semi-circular desk. The study randomly tested 63 pairs of patients and doctors.

Participating physicians felt that they were able to share more information, while patients felt they had better access to information.

“This study supports the notion that the space in which people meet can influence how they work together,” said Dr. Victor Montori, one of the study’s principal authors.

The study was a result of collaboration between the Mayo Clinic and the office furniture company Steelcase.