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is a constant


The workplace has changed beyond recognition in the last 100 years from task oriented autonomous desk working of the 20th Century to the flexible collaborative working practices we embrace in the 21st.


The impact of economic, social and environmental factors plus increased awareness of employee wellbeing has driven the need for new kinds of working environments. This has led to new thinking from investors, developers, designers and building owners in terms of what spaces they need to create for the future.

History of the changing workplace infographic

Early 20th century


  • Fixed desks
  • Task oriented
  • Strict hierarchys
  • No worker empowerment

Mid 20th  century


  • Open plan offices
  • Increase in communications
  • Beginings of electronics
  • More efficient working methods
  • Still task oriented autonomous working

Late 20th


  • Computer technology introduced
  • Democratization of the workplace
  • Collaborative working
  • Portable communications
  • Flexitime
  • Hot desking

Early 21st


  • Workplace efficiency
  • Health and wellbeing identified
  • Environmental concerns
  • Digital connectivity
  • Desire for control and choice
  • Employee empowerment
  • Productivity and efficiency focus
  • Collaborative via digital means, E.g. Skype