The changing face of the UK office

April 10th, 2013 Category: Office Cleaning

A new study has revealed the extent of which the UK office environment has changed over the past 60 years, with technology irreparably altering the way we do business.

Research produced by Warwick Business School to support the 'Remember How We Used To Work' online archive from npower has revealed that office gadgets are becoming a focal part of the office environment, and their use is likely to increase. From typewriters to telex, computers to smartphones, people have become extremely reliant on technology, and many can’t imagine doing business without it.

One in five British office workers don’t ever put pen to paper at work, and a quarter don’t remember life without email. The research found that the average UK worker sends and receives 10,000 emails a year and one in ten spend the whole working day on a computer or mobile phone. What’s more, 57 per cent of those questioned admit to logging into their inbox outside of work hours and 85 per cent of those who do think it makes them more productive.

What is particularly interesting is that the perception that the computer-powered electronic office has made us more productive might not be completely true. We may have advanced from the days when a calculator cost three weeks wages and photocopies were made by hand, but statistics from the ONS have shown that productivity has risen by just two per cent since 1973, suggesting that technology is not the cure to all ills.

Will Skillman from Warwick Business School, who produced the report for npower, explained: “Our study shows that British workers are now hugely reliant on electrical appliances throughout the working day and while on the move and feel this has improved their productivity.

"Yet what isn't clear is whether this technology-powered workplace is directly helping to improve how we work or if we are just replacing old technologies with new. Certainly the rise of the mobile office means that workers can stay plugged in on the move and for longer periods of time, but whether this has resulted in a more productive workforce remains to be seen."