• Richard Burner

History of Modern Workplaces The Past, Present & Future

The nature of work has undoubtedly changed throughout the years. This is true from both a cultural and technological perspective, as we’ve transitioned from the industrial revolution to what can now be considered as the digital age of work. Because work itself has evolved over the years, it’s not at all surprising to see that the modern workplace has also changed with the times.

This brings up an interesting question: how do you prepare your workplace for the future? Now, the answer to this question is actually a little more complicated than you might think. This is because if you want to truly prepare your workspace for the future, you first have to take a look back on how the workplace has developed.

To help you out, we’ve prepared a brief history of the modern workplace. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of what the future of workplaces will look like!

The 1900s

This era was heavily influenced by the Industrial Revolution. It was evident in the office spaces as they resemble factories and assembly lines with their open floor plans while the managers observed them from their private offices. However, unlike modern open floor plans, the office spaces in the 1900s were much more crowded.

The 1930s

The 1930s saw the rise of streamlined offices. This was mainly due to the influence of the Wall Street Crash in 1929. Because of the crash, workspaces were designed to embody the ideal corporate image and promote productivity. On top of that, the workspaces of the time adopted modern aesthetics.

The 1980s

The 1980s saw a rise in the middle management staff. This was because companies were pushing for efficiency, and middle managers were a good way to promote their goals. The rise of middle management paved the way for cubicles, as management believed that adding dividers in offices would help make employees more productive due to the lack of distractions around them.

The 2000s The biggest driving force for workplace transformation in the 2000s was technology. The Internet made it possible to work from anywhere in the world. This led to a rise in hot-desking, which means that employees were no longer bound to a designated desk. Working from home or from spaces outside of the workplace was also permitted, thanks to the innovations in mobile devices, laptops, and other portable devices. This is why businesses and companies focused on enhancing their work from home experience by using different strategies, such as work from home kits that are designed to make the overall work from home experience better for their employees.


As technology gets better, it’s safe to assume that the idea of a physical workplace as we know it may soon be a thing of the past. This will also likely involve a shift in priorities for future workplaces. Future workplaces may prioritize providing employees with an area that’s focused on social interactions and networking—both of which are difficult to achieve when working from home. On top of that, future employers will likely put company culture at the forefront, as excellent work experiences are what future employees will value the most!

21st Cup delivers products and services that can enhance your work from home experience. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our products!

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