The management office then and now

If you want to reduce the duties of a manager – regardless of industry or company size – down to three key points, they would be: 1. planning strategically, 2. making decisions and 3. taking responsibility for these decisions. The management office is where these duties are performed. But not all management offices are alike!

At least 30 square metres of floor space, an imposing solid wood desk, extravagant plants and magnificent works of art – as well as a meeting area with a round table and four chairs. And on it? Good old filter coffee, milk and sugar – freshly served by your personal secretary ready for the next appointment (behind closed doors of course).

Do you remember it too? I can still recall this image of the boss’s office in the eighties. But luckily the idea of a management office has changed over the years.

The management office – co-existence of outdated traditions and new cultures

Nowadays a number of different models are possible: traditional companies are likely to hang onto the old classics for the longest: the boss rules and presides from a space all of his own. But open doors indicate an open ear and flat hierarchy. Authority is a result of spatial detachment! It’s a concept we know and love. The polar opposite – adapted, copied or transferred from a Silicon Valley model we still admire but don’t really seem to understand – is the open space office that spills over into the management level. Mark Zuckerberg shows us the way: his desk is right where the action is. His generation aspires to rise above issues like having their own office and prioritise other concerns instead – and it’s a success!

The management office: making a statement with the chair

I’ve been watching this change for years, endorsing it to a point – and personally I can say for certain: they haven’t done much to alter the office chair concept, even in Silicon Valley! At the end of the day almost every boss values ergonomics and design. As Managing Director at Klöber I’m more than happy to put my name to that. Incidentally my own personal “management chair” is the Connex2 high-back. I’ve configured the Connex2 high-back to suit my personal taste and style exactly, with luxury leather upholstery, central backrest element in polished aluminium and classic black controls. Clear lines and an uncluttered design set the tone in my own office too. And as you might have guessed it has an open door and no plants or paintings on the walls, just overlooking Lake Constance rather than the Silicon Valley!

The new Connex2 high-back is the perfect choice for the management office with high-end upholstery fabrics and quality craftsmanship.

Ralf Johow

Hi, my name’s Ralf Johow. I’m a senior director at Klöber GmbH. Having graduated in mechanical engineering I went on to a 25-year career in the furniture industry, where I…


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