The changing face of the office workplace

If you work in an office, you’ll no doubt have your daily routine nailed down – maybe make a cuppa to take to your desk, fire up your computer, then check your emails to both ease yourself into, and set your priorities for, the working day ahead.

The chances are you’ll also work in an open plan office, where all colleagues can easily communicate with each other across the room – this is all part of the evolving office work-space, and things were very different as little as 20 years ago.

Let’s take a quick look at how we arrived at the modern day office, and what sort of working environment might lie ahead for office workers of the future…

How the office has changed

Do you remember the office before the days of email? When a phone call or a fax were the only ways to communicate with those away from the workplace? If so, you’ll appreciate just how much things have changed over the last 20-30 years.

How computers changed office work forever

Developments in computer technology have had the most profound effect on the workplace – the computer now essentially is the workplace, as emails have replaced typed up notes, and the cloud has replaced the filing cabinet, and even the on-site server.

Literally everything is now done on our own personal computer, and in many cases we can take this on the move with us and work anywhere we can get an internet signal.

As the following video shows, a lot has changed in the last 40 years…

The Health Act 2006 brought about one of the biggest, and arguably most beneficial, changes to life in the office, as it recommended that smoking be banned in all workplaces.

When did the ban on smoking start?

A smoking ban, making it illegal to smoke in all enclosed workplaces in England, became law on July, 1, 2017.

The legislation seems to be having the desired effect of discouraging people from smoking and creating a healthier working environment – fewer than 17% of the population now, down from almost 50% in 1974.

And the ban also seems to have encouraged existing smokers to give up. Following its introduction there was a 23% increase in quit attempts made via NHS stop-smoking services.

What will the office of the future look like?

As technology develops, the traditional office as we know it will gradually disappear, as more of us work from home or a shared working space. And we’ll gradually begin to outsource more of our tasks to technology, with things like customer service enquiries being handed over to virtual assistants.
This infographic nicely highlights the past, present and future of the workplace…

The Odyssey of the Office: Our Workplace Evolving in Time

From Visually.

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