The Evolution of the Office

Whether you work from home, freelance or are employed working in an office is a must. Offices provide you with a place where the magic happens. A comfortable space to work productively, sat on the sofa with your tablet isn’t going to cut it.  Through the evolution of the office we seem to be going full circle back to the beginning as even homeworkers and freelancers are going back into the office with the rise of co-working spaces. What makes an office so useful? Being around other people gets your creative juices flowing plus the interaction with others is good for your mental health.

office interior design

British Gas Business produced an infographic looking back at the evolution of the office from conception 300 years ago to how they look today. Would you believe that offices only came into play as early as 1700’s, where companies used them as a way to centralise their workforce and increase productivity. It wasn’t until 1867 that typewriters were invented or 1876 for the telephone. Can you imagine the sheer level of writing these office workers must have been doing? Not to mention paper and filing! In some ways the art of writing has long been forgotten as I literally sit here now typing away. If I had to write this piece it would probably take me double the time and my hand would hurt!

Technological advances have enabled the evolution of the office to speed up a notch. It took 150 years using a pen to the invention of the first typewriter. In 1975 the first personal computers were introduced along with low-cost printers. Skip forward less than 50 years and computers are now commonplace in most homes, technology is so tiny you can now put a computer and a phone in your pocket.  My children think mobiles and tablets are the norm but my 15 year old self remembers learning to touch type on massive PC’s with green font, using technology to them is second nature and my son, Charlie is always helping me with things and the 7 year old uses tablets all the time.

When I got my first “mobile phone” back in 1997 (🙈) I think only about 3 of my friends had one so I had nobody to text and called people’s landlines, fast forward *cough* a few years and literally everyone (even my 10 year old nephew much to Charlie’s disgust) has a mobile phone. No longer a phone enabling you to make calls but a tiny computer which fits in your pocket.  This in turn has revolutionised offices, especially for parents. You are literally carrying your work around with you in your pocket, being able to access your email and office from the park.  Start a business and earn an income in areas that 50 years ago didn’t exist.

These advances in technology allow us now more freedom to work remotely accessing our offices from home which in turn provides more flexibility and a better work life balance.  Given all these advances one thing still remains true an office provides your business with a place in which to centralise work and increase productivity.  Technology has yet to replicate the experiences and feelings office workers get from being part of a real life team.

I wonder what the evolution of the office will look like in another 50 years’ time.

small business growth

This post is a promotional feature in association with British Gas but all thoughts are my own.

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  1. April 5, 2019 / 6:57 am

    It’s a good thing to know where office started. Thank you for sharing this very interesting article.

  2. May 22, 2019 / 2:09 pm

    I write this from my sunlounger where I am sitting working. Things move so quickly don’t they- my first job was a monchrome monitor and all special function keys and no mouse!!

  3. May 24, 2019 / 6:47 am

    I honestly can’t imagine how office life will change in another 50 years. I agree that many jobs will involve working from home thanks to the development of technology

  4. May 24, 2019 / 12:18 pm

    Office spaces have changed so much, that’s for sure – like you said I remember growing up without a mobile phone and then when text messages came in – simple times hey

    Laura x

  5. June 3, 2019 / 8:24 am

    It’s crazy isn’t it
    Technology is a huge one for me as a photographer I started out using film!! Omg. Lol.
    How times have changed!

  6. June 4, 2019 / 10:26 am

    It’s so amazing that we can run a business from our mobile phones now! It makes running your own business much more flexible around family life (but also too tempting to work all of the time! … ‘I’ll just do that one little job’ …)

    • June 4, 2019 / 1:19 pm

      You are so right Lexy, it can be hard not to get drawn in!