The chances are you sit at a desk for a good part of the working week. You might even be sitting at one right now. Your desk might be in an office, at home or you might be ‘hot desking’ at the closest Starbucks.

The desk in principle has been around almost as long as civilisation, but over the past 40-50 years, things have changed. They have changed not only in terms of our work but how that translates into the office. So how has the desk evolved?

Office desks in the 1960s

Your basic office desk in the 1960s tended to be square, thin and with very small drawers. The 60’s desk sits in an open plan office. The chances are quite high it was littered with paperwork too, a rotary dial phone, calculator and possibly a cigarette dispenser and tray. You would definitely spot a Rolodex filing system too!

History Of The Office Desk
History Of The Office Desk

The 1970’s history of the office desk

During the 1970s the style was similar but maybe seeing a splash of colour now you might have also lost the drawers. However, the 70’s desk is part of the foldout cubicle environment. Decorated with an LCD calculator, electric typewriter, perhaps even a telex machine.

Your 1980’s office desk

The colour and slight openness have been replaced by a forest of cubicles. In which office desk workstations have appeared. Usually, a grey shade to match the cubicle walls. Grey drawers sit underneath. The cordless phone now sits pride of place along with the personal computer. You would probably see a Filofax and for those real highflyers and of course the introduction of the fax machine.

The 1990s office workspace and desk

In the 1990s they were quite sleek and simple. They probably had the addition of some kind of knoll propeller table will be a ‘hot desk’ for anyone in the office. Adorned with a Motorola mobile phone, lots of post-its and maybe some desk games. Your office might have a slight dress down feel but the desk will be on point.

Office desks in the 2000s

A Crinion open table with outlets for all the important gadgets including your Blackberry charger may be your desk of choice. Your personal computer will have a webcam and will sit pride of place in the centre. There will be no shortage of USB sticks either.

Office Workplace Hot Desking
Office Workplace Hot Desking

The office desk of the 2010s

So the ’00s might still be close behind, but we move forward you might start to see a few more standing desks appear. A laptop or even a Chromebook might be the machine of choice. With an extra screen to plug into when you are in the office and at your desk! Your smartphone charger will be constantly present. Not to mention, your Kindle or going old school a book on the latest tidying method or how to be mindful in the office.

How does your desk compare to our timeline? Are you still carrying vibes from the ’80s or are you currently standing on a bounce mat at your standing desk whilst listening to meditation sounds?

If you need a new desk or any office furniture then get in touch, we might even be able to send the team to help you build it!


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