In the 1920s, Frederick Taylor was arguably the first person to be recognized for his work on the general benefits of open-plan office spaces, with the core idea that the desks should all be facing towards a supervisor for easier management, and enhanced productivity. Due to inadequate lighting, this idea didn’t peak for another few decades until the ‘50s, where the “universal office” became the highlight design, with new advancements in lighting, ventilation, and air-conditioning. Managers were commonly situated within glass offices and other employees in open offices with fixed cubicles.
The 1960s gave rise to the infamous office cubicle. This initially boosted the perception of increased productivity and worker benefits. However, as more workers entered the workforce, the cubicle design slowly showed its true colors of corporate oppression, and in the late 80s to 90s, had hit rock bottom in popularity with most major companies.