80 years in the life of a workstation

30’s Not so long ago, everyone had a desk.  5ft x 2ft 6″.  Couple of drawers slung under one side.  Desk top technology was typically a typewriter, maybe an adding machine.

40’s Hey what’s this adding machine thingymajib?  Gonna need a bigger desk @ say 6ft x 3ft.  More drawers too please!

50’s A phone?  Really?  Along with all this other equipment?  Definitely have to go large in the desk department . . . . perhaps I should have some kind of screen around me, you know for privacy, so I can really concentrate.

60’s You mean a VDU hooked up to a CPU can do all the things these other bits of kit did?  It’s pretty big though, it’s hanging over the back of the desk.  Should we maybe add another smaller desk on the side . . . with some drawers . . . and a screen . . .

70’s Ergonomics ~ that’s what we have to have!  We’re all getting assessed you know.  This bit I sit at ~ it’s got to have a nice curve to it.  See how well the PC sits in the corner?  Plenty of room for my pet photos, gonks (oh yes!) and that plant Mavis from HR was trying to revive before she left.  Any chance of a filing cabinet?

80’s 19 inches! Are you kidding me? That’s huge. There’s no room for the fax machine, let alone the printer, fan, kettle, calendar, plant, in-tray . . . . I’m sorry I couldn’t possibly share my desk.  You’ll just have to squeeze another one in over there. This is my space. When is my new stationary cupboard arriving?  Hey where are you going?

90’s FST.  Nope, sorry I don’t know what that is.  Flat screen huh. Wow that is compact!  I can put so much more stuff on my desk now.  Isn’t technology wonderful? Smaller desks you say?  Who in facilities came up with that crazy notion?  We’re already crammed in like sardines.  There’s not enough meeting rooms and now the rest room has been turned into a ‘quiet/touch-down/1-2-1/room’ for hectors sake what next?

00’s What like a picnic bench?  Can’t see that working.  We’ll all be sitting in rows just like the typing pool I first worked in.  You’ll have to provide us with that new ‘break-out space’ you know.

10’s Ad-hoc collaborative zones, scrum walls, 3rd space, tablets, the cloud, i-everything ~ can’t I just have an office?

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