The Cubicle Turns 40 – Hooray!?!?

Larry Kavich remembers visiting what he called a strange little office in an obscure part of Omaha in 1968 to see an example of new workplace furniture developed by nationally known designers.

he “Action Office,” as it was called, consisted of mobile components — desks, shelves and partitions.

Kavich, chairman of All Makes Office Equipment, said he remembers thinking, “How am I going to sell those?”

From that ignoble beginning, the cubicle, which is 40 years old this year, has gone on to dominate the workplace. Kavich estimates his company alone has sold more than 100,000.

Cubicles and cubicle workers seem ubiquitous in the Midlands and elsewhere. Indeed, the number of white-collar workers represents a much greater percentage of the work force today than it did 40 years ago. But blue-collar and “gray-collar” workers continue to be integral parts of the work force, and experts say all have a future in a changing economy.

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