Office design 1950s

How Office design has changed over the years

The office design, layout, personality, culture, technology and personnel has evolved over the years.  We will take a look back at the last 70 years of the office work space to get a snapshot of the times.

At Loc8 Commercial, we know offices and have compiled a collection of office images giving an insight into how far office design has come.

Office design in the 50s
Office Design in 1950s

Large heavy filing cabinets filled with paperwork could be seen as large pieces of furniture taking up space in small workspaces. It was common to find two people sharing a desk with an interior that consisted of chunky desks, carpet flooring, the odd picture on the wall and cream coloured décor.


Office design in the 60s
Office Design in 1960s

The rise of G-Plan furniture in the home and office allowed workspaces to become more colourful, playful and contemporary. Offices moved from carpets to wooden floors with slightly more comfortable chairs. Desks were designed to allow easier cleaning in and around the workspaces. Large filing cabinets were still popular but the rise of personal desk storage and filing meant workers had more freedom and trust.


Office design in the 70s
Office Design in 1970s

Major office developments in the 70s included wall colours and personal workstations.  Workers had more space to themselves and were often at their desk most of the day using the typewriter. As you can see in this office they have opted to go back to carpets but the desk designs still allowed cleaning to happen easier. Office plants and telephones are the other two new additions to offices in this era. Offices were still full of paperwork and storage cabinets.


Office design in the 80s
Office Design in 1980s

Some would say the best decade to have been alive in. As you can see the 80s didn’t really deliver on office design innovation. The introduction of personal computers on each desk along with more ergonomic chairs and slightly more private working spaces summed up this era. Personal storage space was important and workers often brought in photos of their friends and family which were left in the office. People had their own desks which allowed for personalisation. Due to the increase of technology, offices were full of wires and health & safety began to creep into people’s conscience. Orange chairs were very trendy during this time!


Office design in the 90s
Office Design in 1990s

Not much changed in the 90s, computers were still big and heavy taking up a large amounts of space on a desk. Telephones, keyboards, mobile phones and integrated personal storage in desks with the odd plant, photocopier, fax machine and more wires oh and along with very unstylish carpet sums up the 90s work environment.


Office design in the 2000s
Office Design in 2000s

Computers became thinner and more light weight taking up less desk space. Mobile phones were smaller and emails were the main form of communication meaning less paperwork for the first time. Offices became slightly more casual with people hanging their personal items on the backs of their chairs. Chairs were more ergonomic as people become more body and health conscious. Exposed brick walls became popular adding character and style along with white boards and artwork decorating the walls. Wood flooring proved to be more hardwearing and became the number one choice of office flooring.


Office design in the 2010s
Office Design in 2010s

Creative, casual, fun, engaging, colourful, interactive, inspiring, comfortable office environments can we found in every city across the country. Furniture that doesn’t match or is upcycled has become cool and contrasting colours are the norm. Break out spaces where employees can work or play are expected with laptops allowing people to work wirelessly from anywhere with access to food and drink on tap. The integration of plug sockets in the floor, walls, ceilings and sofa’s mean people can charge their phones and computers anywhere whilst hot desking. Having a fixed formal desk and workspace is seen as old fashioned. If you’re working in a coworking space then it is likely you will be working next to someone from a completely different company with clients in a completely different time zone.

If your looking for a modern, inspiring office solution then give us a call on 020 3031 8563 or search via our website

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