deepstash

Beta

A short history of the office

How changes in technology influenced the office

  • The telegraph, telephone, and dictating machine changed the concept of work and office design as telecommunications meant office could be separate from factories and warehouses and differentiate between white and blue-collar workers.
  • While these technologies made a distributed workforce possible, American offices became more centralised.
  • Online connectivity potentially ensures a move away from the office to working from home.

45 SAVES


This is a professional note extracted from an online article.

Read more efficiently

Save what inspires you

Remember anything

IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

A short history of the office

A short history of the office

https://theconversation.com/a-short-history-of-the-office-82000

theconversation.com

4

Key Ideas

A slow change from home to office

The office's history shows how our work has changed and how work's physical spaces respond to cultural, technological, and social influences

  • During medieval times, most people worked from home.
  • A turning point came during the 17th century. Lawyers, civil servants, and other new professionals began to work from offices in Amsterdam, London, and Paris. However, other professions continued working from home.
  • In the 19th century, banking dynasties operated from luxurious homes to make clients feel at ease.
  • Over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, specialized office designs reinforced a distinction between work and home.

At first, the office was an activity before it was a place

  • Before the modern office, monasteries introduced timekeeping to the monk's daily routines.
  • Later, the office was understood to be a factory-like environment.
  • Work was depicted as a series of tasks that could be rationalised, standardised and calculated into an efficient production machine.

How changes in technology influenced the office

  • The telegraph, telephone, and dictating machine changed the concept of work and office design as telecommunications meant office could be separate from factories and warehouses and differentiate between white and blue-collar workers.
  • While these technologies made a distributed workforce possible, American offices became more centralised.
  • Online connectivity potentially ensures a move away from the office to working from home.

Return to the office

Anthropological research shows how physical proximity increases interactions. The office is an important factor in communicating the necessary cues of leadership, collaboration, and communication.

Although employees might move back to the physical space of the office again, boundaries are changing.

EXPLORE MORE AROUND THESE TOPICS:

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Early times

Before the Industrial revolution, everyone worked out of their home and sold their goods from there. With the Industrial Revolution came the need for automation and factories, and employ...

From factories to cubicles to WiFi

Just after WW2, there was a rise in corporate headquarters and larger office spaces and cubicles. During this time, the 8-hour workday was established.

Then came the advancements in computers and technology that lead to remote workers of today. The internet and public WiFi allowed employees to do everything they would in their cubicle, but outside the office. They can also work all hours of the day.

Remote work is common

4.3 million people currently work from home in the United States at least half of the time, and this figure has grown by 150% in the last 13 years.  

Remote workers tend to have higher engagement rates and higher productivity levels. Once they switch to remote work, they rarely want to become office bound again.

2 more ideas

Open offices will get more open

The open office has gotten less open over time because more people were put into it.

A well-designed open plan has only about 30% of people sitting at a desk. The rest are using other p...

The new welcome space

If you've visited an open office In the past, you've probably been greeted by someone sitting behind a desk. They would point you to a self-serve coffee - all to make visitors feel comfortable.

Going forward will be about perceived safety. The new paradigm may include a mudroom to change your shoes and wash your hands. It may even be a place to run health screenings.

The clear cubicle

A transparent material is used to build clear barriers between people.

We can expect to see clear dividers rise up, creating walls around desks. There are better materials that are more antimicrobial, but clear plastic is in demand because it encourages a perceived sense of safety.

4 more ideas

Loneliness before quarantine

We crave intimacy. And yet, long before the present pandemic, with its forced isolation and social distancing, humans had begun building their own separate cells. 

Before modern times...

Loneliness is a form of grief

It is an umbrella term we use to cover for all sorts of things most people would rather not name and have no idea how to fix.
Plenty of people like to be alone. But solitude and seclusion are different from loneliness. Loneliness is a state of profound distress.

The evolutionary theory of loneliness

Primates need to belong to an intimate social group in order to survive; this is especially true for humans.
Separation from your group (either finding yourself alone or finding yourself among a group of people who do not know and understand you) triggers a fight-or-flight response.

4 more ideas