Origins of ordinary things: The office

A lot of people who are in formal employment do their work in a space that they refer to as an office. According to Wikipedia, an encyclopedia, the word “office” is derived from “officum”, a Latin word which meant a mobile bureau for staff or a formal position. 

However, the working class was not the first to occupy this kind of space. According to Desk Mag, a workplace management platform, the idea of an office started during the Middle Ages in monasteries. Here, monks would make and keep records for managerial purposes.

The monks would write in isolation and while standing because according to Mindspace, an office rental company, sitting was considered a privilege and becoming a monk required giving up a privileged lif]e.

Around the 13th century during the age of enlightenment (the renaissance period), more people started using offices. According to Wikipedia, during this time, knowledge and trade grew and there was need to distinguish between the church and commerce.

By the 17th century, countries had started to form and there were administrative structures with office buildings. In the 18th century, when the industrial revolution began, large companies emerged and they built offices because there was need for clerks to do accounting, order-processing and filing documents. There were offices for banking, railway companies, insurance ,,and other types of businesses. This is according to ThoughtCo, a knowledge sharing platform.

At this point, offices were poorly lit and only those in higher positions had the privilege of space and ventilation. However, this changed when Frederick. W. Taylor a 20th century engineer pioneered a time and motion study which said that managers ought to be proactive in their supervisory roles to increase efficiency. This resulted in offices with large open spaces with workers’ desks facing supervisors.

Later, it was argued that open spaces impeded the privacy that creativity required. Thus, some companies opted for closed rooms within buildings.  Other companies opted for cubicles where workspaces would be divided up without creating complete isolation. This would allow for social interaction but also allowed for a little privacy.

21st century offices are dynamic and their design varies from one workplace to another. Some are still strictly following Frederick Taylor’s arrangement. Others have cordoned off rooms for different departments and officers. Others are more creatively designed to accommodate the creative and free spirits of 21st century employees.

Some others don’t use offices since technology makes it possible to work from anywhere.A lot of people who are in formal employment do their work in a space that they refer to as an office. According to Wikipedia, an encyclopedia, the word “office” is derived from “officum”, a Latin word which meant a mobile bureau for staff or a formal position. 

However, the working class was not the first to occupy this kind of space. According to Desk Mag, a workplace management platform, the idea of an office started during the Middle Ages in monasteries. Here, monks would make and keep records for managerial purposes.

The monks would write in isolation and while standing because according to Mindspace, an office rental company, sitting was considered a privilege and becoming a monk required giving up a privileged life.

Around the 13th century during the age of enlightenment (the renaissance period), more people started using offices. According to Wikipedia, during this time, knowledge and trade grew and there was need to distinguish between the church and commerce.

By the 17th century, countries had started to form and there were administrative structures with office buildings. In the 18th century, when the industrial revolution began, large companies emerged and they built offices because there was need for clerks to do accounting, order-processing and filing documents. There were offices for banking, railway companies, insurance and other types of businesses. This is according to ThoughtCo, a knowledge sharing platform.

At this point, offices were poorly lit and only those in higher positions had the privilege of space and ventilation. However, this changed when Frederick. W. Taylor a 20th century engineer pioneered a time and motion study which said that managers ought to be proactive in their supervisory roles to increase efficiency. This resulted in offices with large open spaces with workers’ desks facing supervisors.

Later, it was argued that open spaces impeded the privacy that creativity required. Thus, some companies opted for closed rooms within buildings.  Other companies opted for cubicles where workspaces would be divided up without creating complete isolation. This would allow for social interaction but also allowed for a little privacy.

21st century offices are dynamic and their design varies from one workplace to another. Some are still strictly following Frederick Taylor’s arrangement. Others have cordoned off rooms for different departments and officers. Others are more creatively designed to accommodate the creative and free spirits of 21st century employees.

Some others don’t use offices since technology makes it possible to work from anywhere.

 

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