Twenty First Century Office Design

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Running head: HOW FIRMS PHYSICALLY STRUCTURE OFFICES IN THE 21ST

How Firms Physically Structure Offices in the 21st Century:
Discussion of Four Leading Design Types

Table of Contents

Abstract…………………………………………………………………………3 How Firms Physically Structure Offices………………………………………..4 Early Office Environments………………………………………………………4 Modern Office Environments……………………………………………………5 Narrative………………………………………………………………....6 Nodal…………………………………………………………………….7 Neighborly………………………………………………………………..8 Nomadic………………………………………………………………….9 A New World of Work…………………………………………………………...9 References……………………………………………………………………….13

Abstract
The corporate office as it is known today is a relatively new phenomenon. While it dominates the working lives of hundreds of millions of people, it dates back little more than one-hundred years (Myerson & Ross, 2003, p. 8). As the physical setting for the necessary functions that support industry, business and government, the office can be described as one of the key societal landmarks of the twentieth century. It has exerted a profound influence not just on economic development but also on culture, lifestyle, environment and the urban landscape (Myerson & Ross, ¶ 3). This paper attempts to present four concept of modern office design and to demonstrate how those designs have effectively changed management styles in the twenty-first century.

How Firms Physically Structure Offices in the 21st Century:
Discussion of Four Leading Design Types
Webster’s Dictionary defines the word office as “a place where official acts are done” (Office, 1985, p. 578). While this definition may seem vague; it is as an excellent description of the modern office. Through the inter-connectivity of technology; today’s office is not necessarily a destination. Work happens in many places. Today’s workers are gradually becoming untethered from the traditional office setting. The office is not in danger of extinction, even though more work is being done outside the conventional workplace. It will continue to be the cornerstone of many organizational foundations (Myerson & Ross, 2003). The corporate office as we know it is a relatively new phenomenon. While it dominates the working lives of hundreds of millions of people, it dates back little more than one-hundred years (Myerson & Ross, 2003, p. 8). As the physical setting for the necessary functions that support industry, business and government, the office can be described as one of the key societal landmarks of the twentieth century. It has exerted a profound influence not just on economic development but also on culture, lifestyle, environment and the urban landscape (Myerson & Ross, ¶ 3). Early Office Environments

Early office interiors were purely functional with little or no consideration given to employee comfort. They were not designed to promote interaction among employees. Its origin evolved from the manufacturing and production mindsets, where desks were typically lined in straight rows with no partitions. Desks were arranged so that each employee was within plain view of the supervisor and creature comforts were of no consideration. This scenario created a work environment that was in a desperate need of change. The design strictly forbade conversation and frowned on social contact, enshrining the work ethic in the dull monotony of the work aesthetic (Myerson & Ross, 2003). As office work passed through its factory based, paper processing stage; change would soon come as a necessity to the accommodation of modern technology. The office of the last century was designed to keep people apart – a division of labor (Myerson & Ross, p. 10). Modern Office Environments

Today’s offices are vastly different than their early predecessors. Many of the old assumptions about work places have changed. In the early twentieth century, a pattern...
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