Where will all the people fit on the planet and where will all the people find jobs?
Such challenging questions came up in conversation recently, sitting over a casual cup of coffee with a friend.
In 1800, one billion people lived on Earth, in 1930 there were two billion. Today there is more than seven billion. Every 15 years or so another billion people live on the planet.
Labour intensive jobs are continually becoming machenised, freeing up people to do other things. So where will we find jobs in the future? New jobs are being created every day, traditional disciplines of study and career paths are becoming less defined and are morphing into new employment areas. Technology is leading the way; people are more sedentary and work in front of computer screen.
Office designs are constantly changing to meet the needs of the times. Work spaces are more employees centred, with a focus on health, wellbeing and the needs of the employee. Architectural designs too bring more natural light and greater access to fresh air. All of these changes in office design allow the greatest benefit to employee health. These changes also benefit plants and make it easier to grow and cohabitate your space with plants.
These changes are in the most part common sense, in order to get a better understanding of a modern workspace. Let’s take a quick look back with a little nostalgia at the office of the past and understand the evolution the workplace environment
The Open Plan Office
The open plans office as we know it today began in the 1950’s, the goal was efficiency and standardization. Offices space in this time was designed to be self-sufficient and distinctly separated from the outside world. Fluorescent lighting and air conditioning took the place of sunlight and fresh air.
The Cubicle Farm: 1980’s
In the 1980 the office design took a new look with the now infamous “cubicle farms” and a new leap toward modernity. Open communications, lean operating procedures and probability were catch phrases of the decade. The design of the office also changed with these new ideologies and processes. They were defined by a minimalist barren aesthetic with a little natural light but few or no indoor plants. Today cubicles still remain as a design in many office environments around the world.
Today there is a growing understanding that strengthening the connection between humans and nature in the built environment has immeasurable health benefits. In an office setting this connection can be easily incorporated, having furnishing made from natural elements such as stone, wood and wicker and encouraging the use of available outdoor space as part of a work routine. Plants can be woven into the office space, having larger groups of plants in a single plant installations will have an immediate impact on the aesthetic, have a cleansing effect on air quality by reducing harmful pollutants such as carbon dioxide and increase oxygen in enclosed spaces.
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