Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Workplace through the Generations

The workplace has changed through the years. Rows of individual desks gave way to shared desks as office space shrank to the size of a condo unit. In just four generations, people have adapted to the changes in their respective eras, thus, changing the doctrine of workplace ergonomics.

Workplace design first opened up for the traditionalists or veterans, workers who have lived through World War II, on or off the battlefield. Compared with the rest, these people were very disciplined and were respected. They often wore formal attire and seriously valued their worth as productive members of society.

Senior executives may be considered today's examples of traditionalists. They may design the workplace to include their office separate from the rank-and-file desks. Traditionalists will benefit from today's office furniture, as ergonomics—the discipline concerned with the “fit” between user, equipment, and the environment—has come of age. Executives can now sit in chairs with excellent lumbar support which helps them focus on their work, instead of their pain.

Traditionalists lived and worked without the conveniences of the Internet. It doesn't mean they won't wire the workplace with high-speed broadband, but rather they tell workers that—back in the days—they didn't have these modern doohickeys. They'll most likely hold on to paper files for their processes, so file cabinets will be necessary. 

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