The Future Of The Office (In 1975)
What was office life like in 1975? 1975! Since I was negative ten years old in 1975 my imagining of life in that time is pretty limited. It mostly consists of Mad Men scenes and a list of befores that gets mighty long before you hit 1990. before internet, before e-mail, before Microsoft, before laptops, before computers. 1975 was before smartphones, before cell phones, before cordless phones – heck, they were still using rotary phones then!
Rotary phone is actually a new addition to my vocabulary, together with ditties, mimeographs, dictation machines and electronic typewriters. This new insight into life in the seventies came from two dear friends who overheard my imaginings. This launched them back to the early days of their careers. They explained how paper needed to dry when it came out of the Xerox machine, how copies (ditties) were made, how excited their boss was when they bought their first fax machine. International mail took two weeks to arrive, and an overseas phone call was a great luxury.
It’s always fun to open a time capsule and see what life was really like back at some period in history. It’s even more fun to see what they thought the future would look like. This article from Business Week is titled The Future of The Office and predicts a paperless office. It’s a fascinating peek into the past and makes you reflect on how much the world has changed since then. To those who have witnessed the change, this article will be a trip down memory lane, into the future, and back to the present. To those of us who missed the seventies’, the eighties’ and the nineties’ office environment, you may need an adult to translate much of the article for you.