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The history and futures of work since the 50s

posted by Patrick Tanguay   Feb 06, 2020

Office work in the 50s

Quite interesting and well designed retrospective on the History of Work at Atlassian, looking at every decade starting in the 50s; what office work looked like, technological innovations, and how the future of work was imagined during each decade.

In a 1964 interview with the BBC, science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke nailed almost all of his predictions for the year 2014. He predicted the use of wireless communications, making us “in instant contact with each other, wherever we may be,” as well as robotic surgery, only missing his prediction that workers would no longer commute to their offices and travel “only for pleasure.”

When office work and life-long hopes of employment started losing some of it’s potential and appeal:

Employees increasingly had doubts about the value of long-term company loyalty and started putting their own needs and interests above their employers’. “Office Space” debuted in 1999 and humorously brought this idea to life, satirizing the banal, everyday work of office denizens and their incompetent, overbearing bosses.