Meaning of a corner office?

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The corner office is a symbol of career advancement and success in office culture, reserved for the highest-ranking employee or supervisor. It offers privacy and a view, and is often the goal of ambitious employees.

While those unfamiliar with the dynamics of office life may not see the difference between a corner office and a cubicle, there is actually a very complex social structure at work. Most employees in a typical office environment work semi-privately in open cubicles placed in the center of the room. Managers, supervisors or executives, however, usually work in finished private offices located around the perimeter of the office floor. The most coveted spot on the entire floor is the corner office.

The corner office is almost always reserved for the highest-ranking employee or supervisor on the floor. Other managers or supervisors may have well-furnished offices, but the occupant of that office has traditionally been seen as the most likely to advance through the company’s ranks. This office is considered a tangible reward for years of dedicated service or a promotion to higher responsibilities. While cubicle-bound employees often work in a hectic and noisy environment, the corner office offers much more privacy, as well as a view of the outside world from two different windows.

While the atmospheric and logistical benefits of this office are important, its true appeal lies in the career advancement it symbolizes. In many college business courses, students are encouraged to strive for this office or, at the very least, develop the necessary drive to gain such a promotion. The corner office is often described as the desired destination for an employee working in the mailroom and boardroom.

There are hundreds of self-help career books that use the corner office as a measure of career success. Few employees will see the interior of a company’s executive suite, but with hard work, such an office, in addition to the perks that surround it, can be achieved. The corner office gives the occupant a real sense of accomplishment and recognition for his years of service.

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