Does Your Office Furniture Make You Happy?


by Anne P. Kreitzberg on Jan 03, 2013

Does Your Office Furniture Make You Happy?

Yes - according to furniture manufacturer Steelcase anthropologist Donna Flynn in this Fast Company article: Remaking Offices to Create Happier Workers.

The premise is that office space should reflect human needs for "we" time (for collaboration) and "I" time (for contemplation -- and getting your work done.) 

Let's look at this from a critical thinking perspective.

What assumptions are being made? One is that office space is not a reflection of job grade or to convey status. It should be based on the functions each individual performs and how that individual prefers to work.

How valid is the argument?  Flynn argues that this should be obvious - even if the idea hasn't yet taken hold. The fallacy in this is that organizations are not designed around individuals or freedom of choice. 

Why stop at a customized work space? What about unlimited vacation days that you could actually take? 

Or the ability to choose a supervisor and co-workers ideally suited to your work style? 

Or the ability to pick and choose the assignments you work on? Now that would make for a happier worker.

What conclusions do you draw?


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