Workplace Trends Over The Years
As with anything, workplace design trends change year by year, with different elements being favoured within different sectors.
With the development of new technology and new, younger, generations entering the working world, workplace design is much different now to how it was 60 years ago so I decided to explore workplace design over the last 60 years.
Offices were very structured, with rows upon rows of desks – break out and games rooms were unheard of. The biggest change within the decade was the introduction of air conditioning, making offices completely separate to the outside world, providing a cooler, comfortable workplace.
Influenced by pop culture, workplaces in the 1960s were becoming increasingly colourful and bright with interaction between employees being encouraged. However, people were still unsure about open workspaces, with people still preferring set offices dedicated to individuals/teams.
Although technology was developing massively, businesses reject open offices, but with a decent reason – providing air conditioning and lighting to such big open spaces was proving very costly. People were starting to understand the benefits of the outdoors and employees were starting to insist they had access to natural daylight and windows providing outdoor views.
Employees were still rebelling against the idea of open offices, desiring options for privacy and so the cubicle made a come back as a cheap, easy solution to the privacy problem. Workplaces during the 1980s were very corporate looking, with sharp, bold colours throughout creating a very professional, branded feel.
Known as the decade of the dot com boom, finally, employees started to accept and enjoy open offices thanks to the introduction of laptops and mobile phones, making collaboration that bit easier. Workplaces, offices especially, were becoming more and more casual with flexi working and dress down Fridays.
In the noughties, workplace design was becoming influenced by the younger generations; popular trends were especially pushed and treasured by start-ups and digital businesses. Smaller businesses started to take inspiration from Google & Facebook, and so started the ‘Office Playground’ trend.
Today’s offices focus on being aesthetically pleasing, with employee wellbeing, both mental and physical, being taken into account as a priority. Nature is being introduced into the workplace, sometimes in place of the trends made popular in the noughties. Break out areas, on site gyms and out door space are becoming perks provided by many companies.
Co Working has also exploded onto the scene and massively made it’s mark in the 2010’s being made popular by entrepreneurs, freelancers and even small start ups saving money on rent.
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