By LYNN DENTTENENBERG and MIKE BERRYNEW YORK — A lot of people would argue that the most boring thing about office life is having to work from home.
But if that’s the case, then it may be time to consider moving into cubicles.
The cubicle was created by IBM in the 1970s to eliminate workers from crowded offices and to make them more productive.
Now, a new study shows that cubicles are worse for the environment than office buildings.
Crowley & Co. analyzed the impact of cubicles on the environment and the health of employees, the environment of the workers and their families.
Its a stark contrast to the past, when cubicles were often thought of as a symbol of corporate success.
“Cubicles were a symbol, a symbol that allowed us to put people in a safe and comfortable environment, which is the kind of environment that you would like to live in,” said Lynn Dentenberry, a Cornell University professor of management and director of Cornell Center for the Environment.
In other words, people worked in the space, but they didn’t have to.
So what can we do about cubicles?
Dentenbery suggests that we work on a few ideas.
Dining on the floor in a cubicle can cause health issues, she said.
We need to make sure that the environment we are working in is clean.
Some offices, like in tech companies, offer free Wi-Fi in their buildings to encourage more collaboration.
That could reduce the amount of workers working on the computer and make it easier to work.
And a little greenery can help bring people together.
It is an area that has been studied extensively, including studies that show a small amount of greenery on floors helps the brain cells communicate.
Finally, dentenberry says we can reduce the number of people working in cubicles by creating more offices.
According to a recent study, in New York City alone, there are about 8.5 million people working at companies with at least one worker.
While that may not sound like a lot, Dentenberries group estimates that each worker in a company can work 20 to 25 hours a week.
By reducing the amount people work in cubicle-like environments, she says we could reduce pollution and the impact on the Earth and the environment.
Follow the author of this story on Twitter: @mikebarnes8