Office culture, office design and even office attire in the last 70 years have been influenced by every day life and culture in each decade, always changing and transforming. Some events and discoveries changed the office life practically over night. Let's have a look at how it happened in the last 5 decades of the previous century.



Culture: very formal and hierarchical, but acceptable to smoke and drink during work hours

Design: open plan offices for workers and private offices for managers who had a clear view over all the workers to ensure maximum productivity

Technology: typewriters and manual filing

Attire: strictly business formal




Culture: still acceptable to drink and smoke in the office, which often turned into late-night partying

Design: the cubicle is born, a three-walled space to insure privacy for each employee.

Technology: xerox machine

Attire: still strictly business formal, but more colourful




Culture: relaxed (long lunches, aater cooler talk, cigarette breaks)

Design: the cubicle is still the most popular, ergonomic designs are dominating

Technology: massive computers that took up enitre rooms

Attire: more colours and patterns influenced by hippie and disco culture, but in a modest way




Culture: Generation X inspired a new dynamic in the workplace with middle management gaining authority

Design: corporate culture with clean lines made of glass and concrete

Technology: the PC marks the start of a technological era

Attire: business casual start becoming commonplace in certain complanies




Culture: booming economy and more diversity among the workers created a richer office culture

Design: utalitarian and functional with open spaces becoming popular again, but with a different reason – to promote collaboration

Technology: the World Wide Wabe fundamentally changed the way the world operated, creating new ways of communication

Attire: more casual (introduction of Casual Fridays)



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