Yet another reason to be concerned about the collective expanding waistline of the workforce. According to a cool infographic and item entitled Size matters In Metropolis, a magazine about architecture and design, the average real estate of corporate cubicles is getting smaller while the average employee’s “footprint” is expanding. At its introduction in 1968, the average cubicle size was 10′ by 10′ – but by 2006, it had shrunk to 6′ by 6.’ Over the same period, men have gained an average of 28 pounds and women have gained 24 pounds – so we are all squeezing more bulk into less space. (See our prior post when gyms and offices collide for some ideas to make the cubicle a less stagnant, more active place)
While weight is an issue we’ve discussed before, the flip side of this equation is the cubicle itself. Even the cubicle inventor came to question his invention, calling it “monolithic insanity.” You can lean more about its checkered past and view a slideshow of historical images in Cubicles: The great mistake, an entertaining historical overview that Fortune featured a few years ago.
Will the cubicle culture ever die out? Probably not, but the nature of where we work is indeed changing. Sue Shellenbarger of Wall Street Journal has a blog called The Juggle, in which she writes about tradeoffs and choice people make juggling work and family. In a recent post entitled Beyond the Cubicle she talks about alternative places – and oddball places – that people work.