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The Workforce Space: Evolution from the 50s to Now

People will need to constantly adapt their skills/abilities to stay employable and employers need to adapt their working practices

Employment has been sought after by people for a long time as a means through which they put food on their tables. Due to this need, employees need to ensure that they have the best-required skills to improve the company’s capacity. Employers also need to ensure that they have the best conducive environments for the employees to work best. These strategies have been developed over the years. Employees have improved their suitability for employment, and employers have made it possible for their companies to be sought after by these talented employees.

Changes in the Workspace since 1950 to Date

The 1950s saw a tremendous change in the workforce space, and the changes that took place would change the way work was done forever. Since World War II, women got into the workforce, took away many of the men, and companies were short on labor. The African Americans also found their way into the white-collar job industry. The African American men got into employment in office jobs and cut down on the wage gap between them and the white men. The factory floor inspired the office outlook, and office desks were stacked together tightly. Bosses chose the corner office spaces with glass walls to ensure supervision of the workers. During this era, manual typewriters were used, and adding machines were also incorporated as part of the new technologies. Despite their advantages, they made the office spaces noisy as everyone was busy at work. The auto industry also hit strides in the 50s, and motor companies made profits. Notably, General Motors was one of the best companies in America at the time during this period. The 50s was a period of hard work, and the bosses’ supervision was strict to ensure the maximum result output.

The 1960s saw the incumbent of new technologies that would change the face of the workspace. The ‘Action office 2’ that Propst and Herman Miller introduced was a single easy to assemble unit that would make office work much more manageable. It was during this period that the International business machines (IBM) released the first electric typewriter. A computer system was also introduced for business customers and helped to ease operations. The 60s era can be termed as the rise of the age of machines. However, some astonishing facts about the workspace during this period was that people could drink and smoke in the offices.

The 1970s came with new mindsets and perspectives concerning the economy. The people stopped their over-reliance on the government and moved towards the private.

The History of the Workplace - Modern Workplace
(“The History of the Workplace – Modern Workplace”)

sector to build the economy. During this period, personal liberation took place, and many rebellions were encountered at the workplaces. People wanted freedom at the workplaces, including the dress codes. Since women had now flooded the workforce, the issue of sexual harassment came up often. Despite all these problems, technological advancements made the 70s a memorable period. The fax machine was introduced, IBM came up with the first high-speed laser printer, and the floppy disk became a famous gadget. The IT industry began to flourish during this period.

The 80s was the period of great trouble and considerable success of the workspace. The period saw two recessions and the market crash that was dubbed the “Black Monday.” The lobby for work and life balance increased, which gave birth to the 9-to-5 routine of office work. Technology also saw new developments in this period, with the Apple’s Macintosh hitting the office market. Almost every office had a personal computer in it. The first Dot Com address was registered, and the World Wide Web became online. The workforce was flooded with various technological advancements, which improved the workspaces and paved the way for a brighter future.

The 1990s was a period of rapid growth, and the employees became aware of their rights. They demanded better working conditions to suit their lives and that of their families. The cell phone was invented during this period and saw communication boosted. The email system was also a messaging system that would change the landscape of the workspace. Communication at work became fast, efficient, and safe, increasing workflow efficiency and increased work output.

With an increase in technology, a shifting economic landscape was imminent. In the 2000s, technology had reduced many job positions, and the low-wage and lower education jobs were significantly affected. Companies require high-level administrated employees with social or analytical skills. Machines considerably reduced manual labor positions and cut the need for human labor. The new era gave life to the new open office layout and not the old cubicles. The 2008 recession affected the workspace considerably, and many companies made losses and almost crumbled. However, many companies in the technology sector, such as Exxon, remained afloat and made profits.

In the 2010 period, the global workforce has shifted from the usual retail to service delivery. Technology has also become a massive contributor to the economy, and employment in the IT sector has been projected to grow by 13 percent between 2013 and 2016 (Appelbaum and Batt 256). The workforce has become more diverse than ever, and people have become innovative, creating jobs every day.

The future is here with us, and technology has opened doors for a better and more efficient workspace. The Covid-19 pandemic has taught people that with technology, people can work from home, hold meetings, and attend conferences from wherever they are (Akkermans et al. 103434). Work has become a dynamically diverse activity and not a rigid industrialized one as before. The future holds better and innovative ideas for the workspace that will even have better solutions for employees and employers.

How do People remain Employable? And how do Employers Attract the right Employees?

In the changing work environment, an employee needs to learn how to remain employable. Employees need to equip themselves with skills that ensure that they are always sought after. To be employable, one needs to master the skill of learning. An employee should always allow their mind to be open to new facts and content. Driving teamwork and leadership skills is also another way of ensuring that an employee is employable. Good communication skills also come in handy; organization and goal-oriented are all forms of remaining employable (Succi and Canovi 1835). Employers attract the right employees through having a good company track record. Records and statistics speak for themselves and attract the most talented and interested employees for the company (Claus 209). A good working environment, treating the employee right, good job advertisement, and top talent acquisition skills ensure that an employer gets the best employees.

The subjects that are covered in school are essential to building the mind of an individual. Having basic skills and knowledge helps create an all-rounded person who can adapt to environmental changes. The skills needed for survival, such as discipline, leadership skills, teamwork, and good communication skills, are critical. To prepare for the world of work, students need to be ready to learn, work with other people, work under pressure, and be able to solve problems. People need abilities to become beneficial to society and to be in a position of advantage. It is essential to have skills that set you apart from the rest and ensure that you have an advantage of survival in the work environment.


“The History of the Workplace – Modern Workplace.” Modern Workplace, 2021, Web.

Akkermans, Jos et al. “The Covid-19 Crisis as a Career Shock: Implications for Careers and Vocational Behavior”. Journal of Vocational Behavior, vol 119, 2020, p. 103434. Elsevier BV, Web.

Appelbaum, Eileen, and Rosemary Batt. The New American Workplace. Cornell University Press, 2018, p. 256.

Claus, Lisbeth. “HR Disruption—Time Already To Reinvent Talent Management.” BRQ Business Research Quarterly, vol 22, no. 3, 2019, pp. 207-215. Elsevier BV, Web.

Succi, Chiara, and Magali Canovi. “Soft Skills to Enhance Graduate Employability: Comparing Students and Employers’ Perceptions.” Studies in Higher Education, vol 45, no. 9, 2019, pp. 1834-1847. Informa UK Limited, Web.

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