Share this Page URL

Chapter 3. Blame It on the Environment > The Power of Discomfort - Pg. 25

Blame It on the Environment You're only as important as your furniture ... assuming you're not in senior management, you might be lucky to have a big ol' board that stretches the length of your cubicle and keeps the telephone from falling in your lap. Let's call it a 'desk' for the sake of argument. This desklike arrangement is the perfect comple- ment to the tiny chair that will be your home for 70 hours a week. --Scott Adams, The Dilbert Principle (HarperBusiness, 1996) 25 Cubicle, Sweet Cubicle The design of most offices--if you can call them offices, given that they usually have no walls, doors, or windows--is not at all conducive to productivity. It's a wonder that anything gets accomplished in corporate America given some of the working conditions. Those lovely cubicle dividers covered in oatmeal colored carpet, the desk chair that's uncomfortable to sit in after about five minutes, the fluorescent lights that make you feel like a lab experiment--they all add up to one lousy setting for getting things done. Fortunately, the rats in a maze setup that you find in most office buildings is slowly, although too slowly, becoming a thing of the past. More and more employers are realizing that comfortable work environments breed creativity, productivity, and high morale. (They don't want you to be too com- fortable, though, so don't try to wheel a recliner and big screen television into your office Monday morning.) They're also realizing that having workstations that are ergonomically correct (safe and comfortable for you physically) is good business because such workstations save them money on health claims and lawsuits. Not all employers are so progressive, however, so you may find yourself in a work- space that inhibits your productivity and encourages procrastination.