The History of the Office: Where Productivity and Creativity Flourish

a modern open office space with plants and white office furnitureOffices have a long, storied past. It’s where great deals are made, and where world-changing inventions come to life. But how did we arrive at the modern office? And where are offices going in the future? Today, we’ll delve into the history of the modern office to see if we can uncover any secrets to this crucial piece of modern society. If you’d like to convert your office into a more efficient, comfortable, and professional space, then Indoff Office Furniture can help.

The Origins of the Office

Here’s a fun fact, did you know famed English author Geoffery Chaucer is credited as the first person to use the term “office” as a place where business transactions take place? This was way back in 1395, appearing in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. Prior to this, the term was generally used when referring to a position that involved certain duties. 

We can find the true birth of the modern office in the 18th century when the East India Company and other large-scale, complex organizations began to grow and take hold of the world. It was during this time that the first office spaces were being built. These buildings were built with the sole purpose of getting work done. 

Productivity³ 

At the core of every office is the need for productivity to thrive. This need gave birth to the office cubicle. In 1964, office equipment company Herman Miller teamed up with industrial designer Robert Propst to create a concept of a “modern” office that would fight against the monotony of past office spaces, thus allowing for higher degrees of creativity to flourish. What they came up with was known as the “Action Office,” a precursor to the modern cubicle. Today, the cubicle is seen in a less-than-flattering light but its original intention was to create a private setting where employees could work without distraction, thus letting their creativity and productivity flow. 

Japan in the 20th Century: Birthplace of the First Open Plan Offices 

One the other side of the spectrum is the 20th-century Japanese office. Japanese offices pioneered what is known as an “open plan” which mostly relies on ergonomic decisions that aid in making employees as productive as can be. Unlike most American offices, Japanese offices have no walls dividing desks or cubicles; individual offices are also eschewed in this open floor plan. In order to ensure productivity, the office or group leader sits at a prominent position. From this spot, the leader can assign tasks and keep tabs on work as its completed.

Since this open-plan does away with walls, team members are able to speak freely with one another in case they require assistance or guidance. If this sounds like your current office layout, then you’re in good company! It wasn’t long before the open office plan pioneered by Japanese businesses began to crop up in other offices all across the world. 

Working from Home

There are countless industries in this world of ours. As such, some industries may benefit greatly from open plans while others are actually more beneficial with cubicles or team spaces. It all depends on the particular industry. But with the advent of the internet and the turn of the century, offices actually evolved to become more personal. So much so, in fact, that many individuals have gone on to work from home.

Everyone, from architects and freelancers to therapists and photographers, has made the move to home offices. Although there is still a prestige that comes along with a physical office address, there’s unbridled freedom that comes from working at home. In fact, many modern companies have remote workers who live in different cities or countries. All this can be done thanks to the advancements in technology and internet connectivity. 

Coworking Spaces Explained

Coworking spaces are an interesting development in the trajectory of office spaces. Sometimes, working from home just isn’t in the cards. Perhaps you don’t have an extra room to spare or your family is much too loud for you to properly speak with clients over the phone without interruptions. This is where coworking spaces can come in handy. Coworking spaces seamlessly combine the idea of open-plan offices with the premise of remote work. For low monthly rates, you can have your own desk in a modern, state-of-the-art office.

Coworking spaces are incredibly popular among freelancers, start-ups, and entrepreneurs so you’ll be in good company. In fact, that’s one of the main benefits of coworking spaces. Since like-minded individuals are all around you, you’ll be able to flourish in your own endeavors. Coworking spaces create a unique environment. You’re your own boss, but you’re not on your own. You can take time to speak with those around you and bounce ideas off one another and there won’t be a supervisor keeping tabs on your tasks. As such, creativity can flourish!

Finding the Right Furniture

Whether you’re planning on converting your spare bedroom into your home office or you’re ready to start renting a space for your startup, you need to make sure you have the right office furniture to guarantee productivity, comfort, and organization. This is where Indoff Office Furniture comes into play. We carry the best of the best in business and office furniture. Give us a call today to learn more about what we have to offer!

Enhance Workplace Creativity With Smart Office Planning

indoff blog post

It was Vincent Van Gogh who said, “Great things are not done by impulse, but a series of small things brought together.” This is especially true in the work environment. Whether you realize it or not, creativity is the driving force behind a company’s success. That is if you want yours to continue evolving.

How we work has a lot to do with fostering creativity. For example, does your office allow workers to move about when they need to change focus or need a space to mentally prepare for another project? The arrangement of your office furniture could be what’s helping or hindering creativity.

If you’re looking for ways to enhance creativity, we have tips on how to revamp your office in small but impactful ways!  

Have a Communal Space for Brainstorming

office space planning

Meetings are always a hit or miss. You either walk away feeling great about the progress made or you leave wondering how the last hour could have been more productive if everything was condensed to a three-sentence email. The formal setting of a meeting can turn people off and deter people from contributing just based on the setup of the room. That’s why we recommend creating a communal space that brings people together rather than physically separating them.

What does this look like? First, consider a circular table or one where everyone present has a place at the table. This creates togetherness. Everyone should have a view of one another so when a person is speaking, everyone can hear and see (if they’re presenting). You also want to have whiteboards nearby so if an idea sparks it can be sketched out right away. The more open and airy the room feels, the more people will feel at ease and ready to think. Consider adding some plants and good lighting. If you can have natural lighting, even better.  

Create a Space for Alone Time

working at desk

Sometimes employees need to be in their mind before they can share their ideas or project. For that reason, we recommend creating a room or space where people can go for some much-needed alone time. The room should have a desk with a computer and plenty of writing utensils. You should also consider adding a shelf with books. When people are looking for new ideas or want to be inspired, they turn to books. Fill a shelf with books related to your company’s line of work. For example, if you’re a marketing firm, invest in the best marketing material around.

This space will also be useful for preparing presentations or working on projects requiring some level of privacy. Again, make sure it feels open and is well-ventilated. You’ll be surprised at what people can accomplish when they take some time to gather their own thoughts.

Make Everything Moveable — The Power of Wheels

teamwork

Innovation is all about change. When your team has the ease of moving things around, they’ll be able to collaborate with everyone and everything. The functionality of a meeting desk, chair, computer, and supplies makes it possible to go from a 10 person meeting to a three-person conversation. Feeling confined can also confine the mind. Have you ever noticed how uplifting it feels to walk out of a room when you need a mental break? Give your team the ease of moving around. All it takes is adding wheels to desks and arranging the office in a way that allows for movement.

Create Your Ideal Work Environment With Indoff Commercial Interiors

Creativity and productivity are vital to any and all workplaces. Enhancing them is what we here at Indoff Commerical Interiors aims to help you with. It’s not always possible to pinpoint what is or isn’t working. That’s why we offer office space planning services for companies here in the Sun City. We focus on creating the best atmosphere for your team’s needs. Everything from the colors of the room to the placement of desks, we take it all into consideration.

Connect with us today to learn how we can help your office!   

Optimizing Your Office Desk for Productivity

businesswoman happy sitting on her desk with her arms crossed

Did you know that productivity can be directly related to the environment around us? If your environment is cluttered, clunky, or otherwise distracting, it can affect your productivity, making you distracted as well. Luckily, there are certain ways you can organize your office desks to make them help you be more productive—and there are options to match everyone’s work habits.

Tip #1: Organize and Declutter

No matter what kind of work habits you have, this one is a must. A cluttered, overbearing workspace can really drive you insane. Office desks should be organized, uncluttered, and give you ample space to work. You never know when you’ll need to dig through endless manila folders spread out in an array on your desk or to eat a meal there when you’re swamped. You’ll want a big, organized desk that gives you the freedom to do so.

Tip #2: Keep Everyday Items Where You Can Reach Them

Things like tissue, your coffee mug, pens and paper, your planner, etc., where you can easily reach them. This will make everything more fluid, increasing your productivity and making your workspace more comfortable.

Tip #3: Your Office Desk is Only as Good as Your Chair

If you really want to be comfortable and productive while working, you’ll need a good desk chair that fits your needs. A good desk chair will help with your posture, ensure you’re comfortable even when sitting for long periods of time, and can help increase blood flow, which can be out of whack when you site for a long time. You’ll want a chair that’s ergonomic and comfortable and while we’re at it, matches your office aesthetic.

Tip #4: Use Folders and Desk Organizers

The best way to stay on top of your tasks is to keep everything organized. Manila folders are one of the best ways to keep all of your documents organized. You can even take it a step further and use a desk organizer to keep all of your manila folders organized. You can organize them by importance, date, client name, or whatever it is you need to do in order to keep it together nicely.

Tip #5: Get the Right Desk for You

Whether you need a desk with a ton of drawer space, an l-shaped desk that provides lots of wiggle room, or everything in between, getting the right office desk for you is sure to improve your productivity. If you’re in the market for new office furniture, such as a new desk or chair, Indoff Commercial Interiors has options for you. Contact us today to learn more about what we have to offer!