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Networked Cubicles

Get the desktop off the desk, and have all computer nodes imbedded in cubicle walls.
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Use flat screen technology to have screens directly in the cubicle walls. Use touch/heat sensitive keypads imbedded in the desk for a keyboard, and make each system just a workstation connected to your server. All computer connections would be on the cubicle wall edge so that when a company put the cubicles together, they were also connecting everything to the network. This way, companies would save on cubicle space by getting rid of most of the hardware. All you would need is a mouse.
Vecini, Jan 15 2001

Partially halfbaked http://www.halfbakery.com/idea/LCD_20Desk
[hippo, Jan 15 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

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       Flat keyboards are uncomfortable to type on for any length of time, and a 'keyboard' with no rebound at all would quickly make for sore fingers. <try pounding your fingertips on a desk or table for an hour...then imagine doing it for a whole work day.>   

       Would actually be easier to build the 'mouse' into the desk, as a touchpad; but many people don't like them.   

       Having the network and power cables run through the cube walls is a decent idea, but I don't think having the screens as part of the wall is a good idea either. Some people like the screen at eye level, some below, some above, and people are all different heights. The monitor I'm typing this on now is in the right corner of my cube, and I've got another in the left, so that I have an open area in the center where the keyboard sits. <The other keyboard is jammed into the corner, but that system isn't used much anyway.>
StarChaser, Jan 15 2001
  

       See all the problems cubicles cause? Hate 'em. They're designed to underscore how "unimportant" the occupant is, just in case that occupant harbors any fantasies of "moving up" and replacing the boss. Also, I think the word "cublicles" is a euphemism. I just call them veal pens, because that's about what they are.   

       But here's the thing that's relevant to this site: Wouldn't this kind of technology get sort of expensive? I mean, when does it stop? At some point, wouldn't it be cheaper for the company to lease a larger space and give everyone a decent office?
rachele, Jan 22 2001
  

       PeterSealy:   

       You're right--that is WAY worse. I mean, how could you fight on the phone with your spouse or organize an impromptu after-work booze session with everyone around you listening in? Not that cubicles afford much more privacy than that, but at least with cubicles, you can get away with picking your nose in private or pulling your undies out of your butt without the whole office seeing you do it.   

       Please, please, please tell me you haven't had to work in those conditions. That's so depressing!
rachele, Jan 22 2001
  

       We've recently gone through a re-cabling excercise. I shudder to think how expensive it would have been if we'd had to replace all the walls as well!

Incidentally, what's wrong with open plan? I love it. Chatting with colleagues, including my boss (who sits opposite me) makes the day a lot more bearable. And a happy(ish) employee is a productive employee.
As an aside, I was always a bit jealous of the people who worked on the trading floors (mostly it was their salary that I was jealous of, admittedly). But then I saw the battery-farm conditions that they work in and suddenly all felt right with the world.
DrBob, Feb 11 2001
  

       Depends on the business. I do tech support, and it's bad enough with the four or five people in direct line of hearing all talking at once. With the hundred or so all going at once with no kind of buffer between them, it'd be miserable.   

       StarChaser the Tech Support Tyger
StarChaser, Feb 11 2001
  

       I'm on a helpline as well (amongst other things). It doesn't seem to be a problem, though it's not exactly humming with activity 24 hours a day which probably makes a big difference.

DrBob, the Fat Bloke Who Answers the Phone.
DrBob, Feb 11 2001
  

       Ours is 24 hours a day, and tends to get busy sometimes. I took 53 calls yesterday <Saturday> and 119 two weeks ago. <A normal saturday is 15-20...>
StarChaser, Feb 11 2001
  

       Yeah you could also have refrigerant lines, lubricant lines, 3 phase AC lines, steam lines, halon lines, compressed air lines and analog CATV lines running through the partitions that mate with like hookups on adjacent partitions. You could have pumps for the fluids, windmills for the currents, amps for the signals etc. that plug in to ports just above desk level. Maybe even some dials, knobs and gages on the wall.   

       Cubicles...they aren't just for white collar workers anymore.
LoriZ, Jun 05 2001
  
      
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