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November 22, 2016

How the workspace has evolved in the last 20 years

If you were to step into an office from the 1990s the design would be completely different to today. While some designs still focus around a traditional structure – many do not.

And this is in large part down to the evolution of office culture. In a working world where our employers are encouraging us to be more collaborative and creative, our environment needs to accommodate this.

In this blog, we will look at how the workspace has evolved over the last few decades and how this has benefitted so many companies today.


Twenty years ago, an office would comprise of a team of workers at a desk, behind a computer slightly larger to those of today, completing their designated tasks and then leave for the day.

As management practice and technologies have changed so has office design. Employees don’t have to spend all day at their desks – in fact, quite the opposite. With an increase in flexible working for example, workers now have the freedom to decide where, when and how they want to work.


With new technologies and materials constantly being made available the way that we work will continue to change. Workers are no longer confined to working at a desk. Wherever you decide to work – from home, a coffee shop, a shared communal working space or perhaps a different country – your working environment must have the technological means to support you.

Individuals and organisations, are now more connected than ever. Cloud computing, online web conferences, instant messaging and e-diaries have enabled better communication around the world. All you need is a computer, remote access and a good internet connection.

Individuals can connect, share information and even collaborate within and outside their organisations at the click of a button.

More than a place to work

In today’s culture, employees value their work/life balance much more than those in the past have. Each worker has their own individual interests and organisations today are recognising this and incorporating it into office design.

Rather than having to work a standard 9-5 day, flexible working hours mean that employees can work as and when just so as long they ensure that tasks are completed.

We’re also a lot busier than we were twenty years ago! Employees have their own families, a healthy lifestyle to maintain and hobbies to enjoy. And management recognises this. To have a productive and motivated team it’s important to keep your employees happy.

Many offices today are increasingly acknowledging the needs of their employees and accommodating accordingly. Fitness suites, spas, gaming and even meditation rooms are among the extras that many organisations are providing for their staff.

At Workspace Design and Build we take the time to listen and find out what you want from your workspace and how it will affect your employees. Take a look at our case studies to see how we met our previous clients’ briefs.

The design

To keep up with the changing nature of work and in the hope of attracting, motivating and retaining valuable staff, organisations need to consider how they use their office space.

For workers who prefer to work in the office, rather than remotely abroad or in a coffee shop, here are few ways that office design can accommodate the changing workplace:

An open-planned space. The workspace is evolving into a “collaborative hub” where employees can communicate face to face and freely. Breakout zones, focus rooms and communal lounges will not only provide your employees with places to have collaborative meetings, but areas to socialise in.

Hot-desking. A flexible working environment, cost saving and increased productivity are among the benefits but if you want to find out more take a look at our blog about hot-desking.

Funky fit outs. As well as being attractive to look at during the working day, having a stylish fit out will do wonders for employee wellbeing, overall motivation and in attracting new staff.

And you?

What do you think? Do you prefer working in today’s office environment or would you prefer to work in an office similar to those twenty years ago? Do let us know thoughts. Get in touch by leaving a comment below or contact us on Facebook and Twitter.