Offices, and the ways we use them, are permanently evolving. But, with the arrival of Covid-19 and the shift to working from home, we have to wonder how we have to understand the office nowadays according to the new reality. To do it so, first, we have to take a look at how the office became what it is.
From typewriting to clicking
One of the first breaking points is the irruption of cubicles in the 1960s. Herman Miller company introduced the Action Office in order to make offices more flexible and elegant to enhance the freedom and privacy of workers. Action Office consisted of the capability to adapt all the furniture according to available space but, through the years, it was adapted to be cheaper to fit more and more people to small offices.
With the arrival of the 1970s, we can find the first attempts to implement some sort of telecommuting. The oil crisis forced the finding of solutions in order to avoid mobility problems. The solution arrived through the landing of satellite offices that allowed employees to work closer to where they lived. But this hybrid system ended a few years later when great companies bet to enhance collaboration and innovation through physical office again.
The jump: technology
And then, the 1980s. Just like the man walked to the moon, the computers arrived at the office. In the 1950s, a computer could cost thousands of dollars and weigh tons. If its first appearances were scarce and rare, and people often have to share one computer and make networking in its queue, companies started to bring personal computers. One machine that changed everything not only on the professional sphere.
If we thought that the moon was enough, we were all wrong. Mars and the whole universe were within reach thanks to the MIT discovery, Internet, and the arrival of free email and instant communication in 1996. The way people worked, connected, and interacted with employees and clients changed forever.
All these changes reinvented the way we work nowadays. And now, the debate and the innovation focus on the environment of the office: more flexible, more sustainable, and more comfortable. Attributes always present but now stronger than ever.
The challenge will consist of redefining our day-to-day according to new habits and opportunities: design an office suitable with remote working. Establishing a technological hub for resources, corporate brand reinforcement, and to boost collaboration, innovation, and confidence. To think space not only to work but to enhance sharing and social collaboration between people.