Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
It gives us a chance to learn from past experiences and mistakes… and when it comes to the history and origins of office design, there is a lot to learn from. Offices have been around in some form or another since (arguably) the times of Ancient Rome. So we literally have access to thousands of years of evidence!
In this article though, we won’t be looking at how Roman scribes spent their lunch break, or if they were permitted to work from home. Instead, our focus will be office design in the early 2000s, and what we can learn from that period.
Office design in Sydney as we know it today is a combination of previously tried and tested methods and trends. We’ve drawn a number of elements from the 2000s that we use these days, and that as an office design company, we encourage businesses to implement. Below, we’ll take a look at influences from the 2000s, and what we can gain from them.
While office cubicles are most often associated with the 90s, they did feature heavily in many workplaces well into the early 2000s, especially for management and lower-density workplaces. The vibe that most associate with office cubicles is boring, uninspiring and as far from creative as you can get… and this wasn’t exactly incorrect.
Most businesses used cubicles made up of grey metals, plastics and fabric coated sheeting, just like the workplace that appears in The Matrix. However, these days, we do understand that office cubicles can come with a host of benefits for both the users and the business, especially when well designed… and not just a drab grey colour!
The benefits of cubicles can include:
- Increased focus for employees, which means less chance of making mistakes while working, and less prone to being impacted by distraction.
- Less stressed employees, than those working in an open plan environment. Again, this comes from being away from distraction, and having ones own space.
- It’s been shown that workers who have their own dedicated cubicle, as well as areas where they can work with others (flexible spaces) are much happier. That translates into higher productivity and better relationships between workers.
Therefore, we can confidently say that cubicles are one element of 2000s office design that we can utilise, so long as we add more modern touches like colour and flexibility.
A little casual
Back in the 2000s, a casual approach to the workplace was a thing. This meant spaces where employees could just hang out, have a coffee and do some work. In a way, this attitude was the forerunner to what we know as agile working. These days, most workers are lucky enough to have access to spaces like this, along with the ability to work remotely.
The last ten years have seen that casual approach increase greatly, especially with the advent of the modern ‘startup’. Many of these companies ensure their workforce is provided with a very flexible working environment, hoping that their office fit-out offers something for everyone. It’s true that this kind of space can have fantastic benefits for a business… but the space must be designed right.
At Niche Projects, we’ve honed our skills over the years, consistently delivering a wide range of flexible solutions for businesses in Sydney. We pride ourselves on our ability to create workspaces that suit all kinds of employees… from the casuals to the consummate professionals!
Something revolutionary happened in the 2000s… Wifi first appeared. And it completely changed the way we work, though the full effects of this development probably weren’t felt until the 2010s. Though most offices still connect their networks through ethernet (fixed cables), the advent of wifi has given us incredible flexibility as both employees and business owners.
The best example of this is probably the recent pandemic. Despite the fact that most people were working from home, productivity did not see any marked decrease. In fact, many businesses (somewhat reluctantly) reported an increase in productivity… all thanks to workers being able to operate from home using wifi.
In the office, wifi allows employees to move around and work in a range of different spaces, and not just at their fixed desk. We are still learning the best ways to maximise this flexibility in the office, but we’ve come a long way. Workers now expect to be able to operate in a range of different spaces, in and out of the office.
Wifi allows them to do so.
Sydney office design and fit-out
If you’re looking to refurbish or fit out a new office in Sydney, you’re in the right place. We’re the best in the business, and we’re ready to help you create an excellent workspace. For excellent Sydney office fit-outs, get in touch with Niche Projects today.