An office is generally a room or an area where business and administrative work is done. The design of office has transformed since the 1900s when modern offices emerged. In this article, we will look at the evolution of office design over the last 100 years.

1900s - The Taylorist Office:

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The Taylorist Office was invented by Frederick Taylor, an American engineer who was obsessed with order and efficiency. Taylor’s design spaced workers evenly along rows of desks in an open room, while managers were situated in private offices. With telephones and typewriters in use, these offices were extremely crowded and noisy.

1930s – The Streamlined Office:

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The Streamlined office was an upgraded version of the Taylorist structure where private offices were being separate from the “workers floor”. It was more aesthetically pleasing than the factory-like office.

1950s – The Open Plan Office:

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The office we are all familiar with today was created by the Schnelle brothers from Germany called the Bürolandschaft, which translates to “office landscape.” Bürolandschaft was intended to banish hierarchies and improve communication where desks were grouped together, with large ferns offering privacy for the manager.

1960s – The Action Office:

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Action Office was a space designed by George Nelson, which focused on movement and incorporated technology such as a “communication centre” with an acoustically insulated telephone. It was the first time in history that pop culture was introduced into the office environment with colorful decorations and prints.

1980s – The Cubicle Farm Office:

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The Cubicle Farm Office was a complete opposite of the Action Office which emphasized communication and freedom. To fit more people into one room, the angled walls transformed into cubicles. This was a period for office design in which managers had less interest in their workers’ well-being and more about their profitability.

2010’s - The New Open-Plan Office:

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Current open-plan offices are a lot more successful. Over recent years, walls have been knocked down to inject more space and light into the office. The open-plan design is becoming increasingly popular in today’s culture.

Future Trends - The Creative Office:

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Companies value flexibility over anything else today. The comforting and sociable environment we create at home is being brought into the workplace. We predict that more and more creative and high-tech features such as acoustic meeting rooms and sleeping pods will be incorporated in future offices.

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