leadforensics Office Fitters | A Brief History of Office Design | Oaktree Interiors

Since the innovation of what we today would recognise as 'an office' – their design has certainly changed for the better during the intervening years. During the early part of the 20th century, the design of an office had a mantra of simply 'piling as many people into a room as possible to take care of the workload' – a room that would be stuffy, dark and very uncomfortable to exist in. These offices required staff to conform themselves to the work, to shape their practices and comfort to the environment.

Thankfully, we've learned so much from the natural progression of time, as today it can be said that, thanks to office fitters, it's now the office environment that is shaped towards the working practices of the staff; helping them to go about their work in comfort, which helps to raise productivity and creativity levels. Although an office doesn't need to reflect the playground-like environment that is portrayed by the multi-national corporations such as Google, transforming grey and gloomy interiors into a bright and comfortable environment is achievable for any type and size of business operation.

The Changing Demands Placed on Office Fitters.

Today, we live in a fast-changing, multi-tasking, more complicated world – this is why our office designs and the facilities that they present, need to be able to treat these issues. Throughout the last century, it isn't only the nature of our work and the technologies that have changed – but the spaces that we use too have undergone huge changes. What began as a way of grouping together people under one roof to maximise efficiency and productivity, has developed into a cultured process that takes into account the feelings and preferences of the workforce; gearing modern offices towards the people, rather than solely to the work.

How did this philosophical change towards offices happen? Here we'll look at the brief history of office design and how office fitters are able to create workplaces that can help a business to push themselves to – and beyond – their targets:

The Early Office Designs.

By the turn of the 20th Century, mass-production of steel allowed for the creation of bigger, more bespoke spaces for office buildings. With staff previously stuck away in converted buildings, the environment offered wasn't one that was conducive to their working practices. By creating these new purpose-built environments, businesses were able to put in place working practices that would better relate to their business, as well as the needs of its staff.

Whilst war and its aftermath would affect the way we lived in the early part of the century, the next major change in office design would be during the 1960's and the creation of 'office landscapes'. In the UK especially, when large swathes of our towns and cities were cleared away and rebuilt. This opened areas up to be dominated by office buildings and especially, the vastly increased production of skyscrapers.

Although this 'build them high' philosophy was well in placeduring the era (especially in residential areas, with their high risebuildings), the design of workplaces by officefitters very much reflected the political feeling at the time – namelyescaping the 'top down' structure that many businesses (and the country'sruling class) previously enjoyed. By encouraging the interaction of staff, nomatter their seniority and making their workplaces feel a little bit more likehome, it's this that helped to produce a better atmosphere within theworkplace, making for more creative and unique work to be produced.

Office Design In The Latter Part of The 20th Century.

With office fitters creating workplaces that were starting to conform more to the needs and wants of the workforce, the design of offices was still a long way away from what we are able to identify with today. The first move into what is now known as 'modern open plan' office design was the introduction of the 'cubicle office', classically identified with office life in the 1980's. Whilst open plan design had been previously been dabbled with, businesses strived to offer something that would combine the need for people to interact, yet be able to get on with their work in privacy – hence the introduction of enclosed desks. This method experienced varying degrees of success – helping to raise productivity levels, but vastly dampening the creative spark that often leads to high quality work. What businesses needed to achieve was that perfect balance; something that was about to arrive...

A New Millennium – A New Kind of Office Fit Out.

By the early-2000's, the office world was finally ready for a modern open office, one that would combine the early ideas of a open office, which allowed for everyone to interact, along with a more private, cubicle environment. The main factor that helped to persuade businesses to adopt this design was the availability of new technologies, such as wireless communication devices that helped to create more flexible working practices in the vast majority of businesses.

This flexibility helped to bring people out from their cubicles, encouraging more interaction between their fellow workers and eventually, creating a working relationship that helped to improve the quality and output of their work – something which businesses quickly picked up on. Gone were the walls that separated them and in came specialist meeting areas, even tea and coffee facilities for them to have informal meetings and sharing ideas – reigniting that creative spark.

As the first decade of the 21st century went by, more focus was placed by office fitters on the need to further help these open, flexible offices designs to relate more to the people present (as well as to set a favourable impression on clients and potential employees). Aspects such as designing a workplace with company branding came into play, as did using 'natural aspects' such as and living walls, to create a harmonious atmosphere.

By looking back and seeing how our buildings and technology have improved and how we're starting to introduce a more homely, more nature-inspired work environment, we can confidentially predict what the office of tomorrow may look like. If a business can get its office interiors in Westminster down to a tee today, they will reap the benefits tomorrow.

Oaktree Interiors – Creators of Bespoke Office Interiors In Westminster

Regardless of what type of business operation you are, we at Oaktree can guarantee the deliverance of a high-quality office refurbishment service that will meet each and every requirement that you have. All work that we undertake is done to a pre-agreed timescale and plan, as our office fitters construct a workplace that meets best health and safety practices.

With our collected skills and over 30 years of experience in the industry, we are confident that we will be able to deliver an office design service that will ultimately help your business to experience long-term progression.

If you would like to find out more information on our services, please feel free to give our office design experts a call on 0845 474 3556 or alternatively, you can send an e-mail to hello@oaktreeoffice.com.

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