Does Size Matter? Cubicle Dwellers More Cramped Than Ever

by Vault Careers | February 09, 2011

  • My Vault

No, you're not imagining it: it really has been getting smaller. I'm talking about your cubicle (of course).

Office Space Still Office workers across America now have an average of just 75 square feet of personal space in which to do their jobs, according to The Lookout. That’s down from an average of 90 square feet in 1994.

The reason for the change should be fairly obvious: the more workers you can cram into a space, the cheaper a company's overheads will be.

But the article doesn't get into one important detail: whether the space each worker enjoys is their total workplace square footage, or empty space. It's likely that it's the former calculation, which means that workers today may not be doing quite as badly as a straight comparison of the numbers suggests.

For those who are old enough, think back to 1994. Whatever technology was in the average office tended to be on the bulky (and noisy) side: Fax machines; Giant computers with microwave-sized monitors atop them; Printers that almost required their own room, and could only handle a couple of pages per minute; Photocopiers whose sole function was to copy paper; Overhead projectors.

And then there are the things that have since been replaced by technology: Filing cabinets; Giant stacks of paper; Phone books; Reference books; File-o-faxes; Rol-o-dexes—the list could go on and on.

The bottom line here: we may have less physical space in which to do our jobs than back when the internet was in its infancy, but the chances are most of us also have a lot less stuff cluttering up that space as well.

Are there any facets of office life in times past that you miss? Anything about your current setup that drives you crazy? Let us know in the comments field below.

Read More:

The Lookout: The Incredible Shrinking American Office Cubicle (hat tip to The Daily Beast)

--Phil Stott, Vault.com

Filed Under: Workplace Issues

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