The modern workplace is very different from the workplace of the past. In today's world, many of the office design trends are focussed on creating a positive workplace environment in order to attract the best talented employees and to impress their clients.


Read on as we investigate the history of office design and how the workplace has changed to meet the needs of employees today.

The Action Office

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With the introduction of the action office in the 60s, you would find offices filled with semi-enclosed workspaces that we now know as the cubicle.


The Cubicle Farm

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In the 80s, most offices would have looked like the image above. A very dull and bleak looking place, right?


This was a very depressing period for many employees.  The above picture is a government office in Los Angeles. The panels were all seventy inches tall so unless you were six-foot-three you couldn’t look over the top, making your 9 to 5 very grey indeed.


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The rise of the technology

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As technology developed, workers were able to be more mobile and with this came the introduction of standing desks, free desks, quiet areas and more. Agile working enables employees to work in a way that best suits them. This is believed to make for a more productive employee.  Agile workers can choose whether they want to work from home, mobile, the office or just wherever they see fit.


Typically, there are also set hours that employees must come to the office. This is done to encourage collaboration and increase creativity.


With many workers no longer chained to their desk, the office design started becoming more creative. ‘Hot desking’ was introduced. ‘Hot desking’ meant staff weren’t allocated space and could pick anywhere to work from. The modern workplace is almost unrecognizable from what it once was.


Office trends are changing all the time, large companies must keep innovating in order to retain and attract talented people.


Today the modern workplace takes a lot of its inspiration from the home. In a modern office you’ll find warm colours, intimate lighting and soft seating. It focuses on providing comfort and improving the wellbeing of employees.


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Warm colours and comfortable areas have been introduced. These areas are designed to help employees unwind, relax and destress. Comfortable couches, cushions and bean bag chairs are there to help them digitally detox.


Benefits of a digital detox area?

There are many benefits to encouraging a digital detox in the workplace. Tech-free zones in the workplace can make a positive impact on the employee’s wellbeing, focus and energy. A digital detox area also encourages different ways of communication that can promote better results for the business overall.

How can you design a digital detox area?

Digital Detox zones can be as creative as you’d like. Those that have a living room or airport lounge feel to them tend to be favoured.


Encourage staff that it’s okay if they want to be left alone for a time.  For example, if an employee is wearing headphones, they’re focusing and do not want to be interrupted.


Soundproof quiet areas, no one wants to hear the bustling of a busy office.


Create rules for the quiet area, i.e. turn mobile phones volume down.


In terms of design, if you have an area with large windows, we recommend you take full opportunity of the natural light.


Your quiet zone must have furniture too, preferably moveable furniture so your employees can rearrange the room should they wish to. Use sofas, chairs and moveable tables to make a relaxed area that your employees can enjoy.



Investing in some designer radiators will help you get that modern look too. Something like the Apollo radiator range from Trade Radiators works great.



Incorporate plants into your quiet zone as they are known to reduce stress and offer other health benefits.


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It’s important you create a healthy working environment for your employees, or they might opt to work elsewhere.  


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