The office cubicle was invented by a Christian company…

Religion and economics or Religion and shaping of business practices is always a fascinating area of study.

Darren E. Grem has a piece on 7 things you may not know about conservative Christian businesses. He discusses the the culture and history of Christian business. I liked this bit on office cubicle culture:

7. The office cubicle was invented by a Christian company. The De Pree family, which headed the furniture company Herman Miller, interpreted their Dutch Reformed evangelicalism to mean the valuing of “high design” and better employer-employee relations through modular office furniture. Hence, they developed the “Action Office II,” a predecessor to the contemporary office cubicle, in the mid-1960s as a means to free employees from fixed-in-place desks.  (At the time, the Office Space-like, “cubicle drone” hellscape of the future was not their intent.) 

Though, I don’t think that this design to induce a better employee-employee relations came this late. While reading of business history of most good companies across the religion space, you come across this aspect of having flatter hierarchies. For instance, the early Indian companies (Hindu ones) too operated just on a gaddi (a mattress literally) where employer and employees sat across each other. Some of them continue the practice till date.

All these aspects of history are really exciting to look at…

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