A modern open plan office

How Offices Have Changed Over the Years

A staple in nearly everyone’s life is the work office. The place where we spend most of our day is an environment that has massively changed over the years. From layout style to functionality. The office has seen a big change over the years but what are the key areas that have stuck?

To start this journey, we first looked at “what offices were like from the ’60s all the way to the modern-day. Learn what has stayed, what has been ditched and what are today’s priorities when looking at your office.

Office History

Starting with the ’60s, your average office saw the introduction of the cubicle. Often partitioned with dividers, these were introduced to allow privacy and keep the focus on the task at hand, with the goal of preventing people from chatting across each other.

The ‘70s saw the invention of ergonomic furniture, which quickly crept into the office. Designed to provide comfort and support to the body’s natural posture, ergonomic furniture quickly became a staple of the office.

Lady sitting amongst office chairs

In the ‘80s, offices opened up to let in more natural light. Glass was often used for large windows and partitioning to keep as much light in as possible. By bringing natural light into the office, not only do you have a free source of light but also the vitamin D from natural light helps boost mood and productivity.

Then we had the ‘90s. This is when the open-plan office burst onto the scene. This change from cubicle to open-plan gave the option to communicate and collaborate more efficiently. By enabling employees to freely talk and discuss, productivity increased and a new workplace was born.

A lady sitting at a office desk smiling next to her laptop

The naughties brought about the introduction of co-working spaces. Places where freelancers or remote workers could rent a desk and work around similar people while not having to be left on their own.

While it seems that remote working came about in 2020, the trend of remote working had already begun since 2010. Allowing the flexibility of people to work from home became popular as collaboration software and technology improved. As tech became more compact and wireless connection accessibility improved, the option to work wherever you wanted to became popular.

 

Today’s Workplace

The modern-day office encompasses a variety of popular features that have come about throughout the years.

Often, you’ll find the layout is open plan, but if partitioning is around, it is usually made of glass to keep the office as open and spacious as possible. Combine this with a killer colour pallet and you can hope to inspire, motivate or relax your employees.

A big trend of the now ‘20s is sustainability and being eco friendly. This can be as simple as making sure your energy provider uses only renewable energy, right down to your furniture being made from recyclable materials.

Meeting room with green plants covering the wall

Bringing the outside in is also a new concept you will see more often this decade. The introduction of plants in the workplace is meant to help clean the air, improve mood and increase productivity.

Overall, there have been many changes over the years, many of which have stayed, but the office is ever-evolving.

Looking to refresh your office but don’t know where to start? Then contact us today on 01444 812 171 or email us at office@sussexfacilities.co.uk to discuss your project. Alternatively, visit our contact page.

The place where we spend most of our day is an environment that has massively changed over the years. From layout style to functionality. The office has seen a big change over the years but what are the key areas that have stuck?

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