One incredible and exciting aspect of the office furniture industry is that it’s ever changing – and at many times, unpredictable. Like American history, throughout the decades office furniture has constantly been moving forward.
In 1880, only around 5% of people worked in nonphysical labor, meaning there was no real need for offices. In 1904, Frederick Taylor generated the first thought of an “office space.” Known as the “Father of Industrial Engineering,” Taylor was obsessed with efficiency and oversight of those working for him. While at the time it seemed ludicrous, Taylor crowded workers together to oversee their work. Although they had no office chairs or conference tables, this was known as the first office design of its time.
Moving forward, as trade expanded across the country, more people were needed in office environments, generating more thought of a proficient office design. Many companies took employees’ office desks and lined them in rows, believing an office design similar to a factory would create the highest productivity. While blue collar workers were clustered in large open areas, it gave bosses enough room for their own separate vicinity to supervise their employees at work, creating what we believe to be the first private offices. Although the first private offices weren’t nearly as sleek as these, the concepts remain consistent.
There have been enormous changes in office furniture design throughout the decades as well, particularly with office desks. As the typewriter was a central component to the entire office design in the 1950s, office desks were far smaller and lower to the ground. With the introduction of the PC, the small office desk design had been around for decades but seemed to literally disappear overnight. Around 1960, workers grew tired of the “factory setting” as there was little comfort and no privacy. The Action Office was created, offering what we know today as office cubicles.
Currently in the 21st century, we all know “collaboration” is the buzz word. Open office designs and benching style workplaces are favorable, along with office furniture adaptable to whatever new changes technology brings. Connect with our Cincinnati office furniture company today to learn about the next big trends, tips, and tricks for optimizing your office design!