It was a record quarter for Herman Miller (NASDAQ:MLHR) -- and that's good news for corporate America, too. The office furnishings specialist posted a 14% improvement in sales for its fiscal second quarter, as earnings soared 31% higher, to $0.56 a share.

It's a win for corporate America because Herman Miller is a great gauge for the health of corporate spending. If firms feel upbeat about their future, they have no problem in counting on the company that invented the cubicle to help update their workplaces with current styles. The good times should continue on that front, since the company recorded a 22% spike in new orders for the period.

Office furniture can be a great leading indicator of corporate trends. Even if you don't own shares in companies like Herman Miller, Steelcase (NYSE:SCS), Knoll (NYSE:KNL), and HNI (NYSE:HNI), you should still follow the stocks. You just never know whether any companies that you own are on the other end of the equation, placing orders to support their expansion strategies or workplace upgrades.

In anticipating Herman Miller's report, fellow Fool Rich Smith pointed out that the company had met or exceeded bottom-line expectations for seven consecutive quarters. Well, the streak is now up to a nice, round eight periods of failing to fail.

Sure, the company simply met its profit target, but that's enough to keep the record alive. And speaking of records, did Herman Miller really call this a record quarter? If so, that means the company is doing better now than it did during the dot-com bubble era, when Internet startups clamored en masse for its signature Aeron desk chairs.

Way to work it, Herman Miller. Thanks to the healthy backlog in orders and even headier growth overseas, perhaps investors can come to appreciate you a little more -- and forgive you for the cubicle.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz thinks that Dilbert and Office Space are hilarious, but he still respects furniture's role in the workplace. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. Rick is also part of theRule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has adisclosure policy.