We have noticed over the last few years that we have been using much smaller office desks in our CAD designs than we used to.
We think that the main reason is that more is expected from the average workspace. It has to work harder for its cost so more workstations are specified in the brief.
Also more has to be crammed into the working area. 15 years ago break-out areas had not been heard off, and if staff wanted to relax they used the canteen area if there was one, or just went down the road to a café or pub.
The second reason is really to do with technology and how this has changed the way we work. Nowadays most of our work can be done on a computer in front of a screen or even a laptop.
Where we used to have piles of reference booklets and information manuals strewn around our desks, we can now access nearly all of this online. We don’t need the plethora of forms, telex and fax pads that we used to need, as we can just access and send then on line.
Most of our correspondence is stored online, so files are a fraction of the size they used to be.
Before everyone needed a computer in order to work, the office desks were usually rectangular and reasonably spacious. Then when computers became affordable for all employees, desks grew tails and became crescent desks, radial desks, or even wave desks.
These new office furniture designs were to cope with the massively deep cathode screens we all used to have on our workstaions.
A standard 80cm deep desk just did not give you enough depth to be able to position the monitor correctly. But now technology has taken another quantum leap and super-thin high definition LCD screens are now cheaply available.
They take up hardly any desk top space, and the user can sit much nearer to the screen, as there is no risk from radiation. These screens can even be hung from a desk top divider screen, which leaves the desk area completely free.
In fact many of the large 80cm deep symmetrical radial desks that were so popular 15 years ago, are now redundant. The huge amount of space they afforded for you 19 inch CRT monitor, now sits vacant, gathering dust behind a large slim flat plasma screen bigger than your Dads TV when you were little.