How Has the Workplace Changed Over Time?

The workplace is a very different place to what it used to be 30 years ago or more.

From the introduction of new technology and tools to the rising trend of remote working, the modern office has adapted in a number of ways to cater for changes in employees’ needs and working styles. So just how much has the workplace changed over the years, and what could it possibly look like in another 30 years to come?

Jive has looked at the workplace’s evolution over time and how different working life is now compared to 30 years ago.

1970s – 1990s:

  • Offices used to be made up of cubicles and c-suites. Employees were more often encouraged to work independently and stay on focus at all times, much different from the modern workplace where collaboration is encouraged.
  • Workplaces were much less tech-orientated –  most business communication took place over landlines and in person and documents were all hard copies.
  • Email, Word processors, and the first personal computers were all invented in the 1970s, however, mobiles were not around until 1988 and the internet was not created until 1990.

2000 – Today:

  • There is more focus on feeling comfortable in the workplace, with things such as standing desks, comfy seating, and remote working having been introduced in recent years to keep staff happy and motivated.
  • The modern workplace is all about social collaboration and rising tech trends. New tools and technology have transformed how we work, from video software such as Skye being introduced in the early ’00s to social media rising in popularity a couple of years later.
  • The internet, smartphones, online file sharing, etc., have all made it possible for us to work anywhere and everywhere, which has led to a rise in remote working and collaboration with people on the other side of the world with ease.
  • With technology comes distractions, however, and 40% of someone’s productive time is taken up by shifting between tasks.

What will the future workplace be like?

  • With the increase in remote working, will physical offices still exist?
  • In the future, Jive predicts that there will be virtual reality software, new web browsing capabilities, and super speedy file transfer software, which will all make working remotely easier.


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