Improve Your Office Day, observed every October 4, marks the day when we declutter and make our workspace more productive — and even uplift the spirits in our offices if necessary! The concept of an office originated from the medieval monks’ scriptorium — a place for writing. But the concept became formalized in the 18th century when the East India Company needed a “bureaucracy to process information and make decisions” about its newly acquired empire in India. Over the years, the office has undergone different designs, sizes, and philosophies, but it has always been within a designated building.
History of Improve Your Office Day
The office has come to signify any place where we get our job done, and that can be in an office building, a coworking space, Starbucks, the library, or even a corner in our house. While we may accept the way we work now and the concept of an office may seem timeless, the office does have a history, and it wasn’t always as it is now.
The medieval monks created the first workplace in the 15th century. The “scriptorium” was a cubicle-style desk made for copying manuscripts and used by lay scribes and illuminators. How the office evolved after that, we do not know. But before the advent of purpose-built office buildings, business owners did their office work — mostly clerical activities — in their homes above their shops. That includes the likes of the Rothschilds and the Barings.
The way people worked changed when the first purpose-built offices, the Old Admiralty Buildings, were opened in 1726. The East India Company made that a trend when it opened its headquarters on Leadenhall Street in the middle of the 18th century, which prompted other corporations to follow suit.
The 20th century ushered in an era that revolutionized the office into how we know it today. The workplace went through several iterations, from open plan office, Bürolandschaft (office landscape), and Action Office, to the much-hated cubicle farm offices, business centers, coworking spaces, and finally, remote work. The commercialization of the light bulb in the early 20th century and the invention of mobile phones and PCs allowed for extended work hours and blurred the lines between personal life and work.
Improve Your Office Day has been marked for years now on October 4 by employers and employees alike to make their workplace more productive for them.
Improve Your Office Day timeline
The scriptorium is invented to create a space where monks can concentrate when they work on copying manuscripts.
Old Admiralty Buildings become the first purpose-built offices when they open in London.
By redesigning his first Action Office, the American inventor Robert Propst unwittingly creates the cubicle farm.
The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic takes us back to where the office started, home.
Improve Your Office Day FAQs
How can you improve your performance at work?
Eliminating distractions, setting clear milestones and personal goals, prioritizing your strengths over your weaknesses, and using the right tools are some of the ways you can improve your performance at work.
How do you improve your office working environment?
Work on improving communication between your employees, improving the lighting, giving your employees more control over where they work, and investing in technology or furniture to boost productivity.
Is Improve Your Office Day the same as National Office Day?
No, they are different. National Office Day, also known as Administrative Professionals Day, is dedicated to professionals that help keep the office running efficiently, while Improve Your Office Day is for every worker.
How To Celebrate Improve Your Office Day
Declutter your workspace
If you have been procrastinating clearing out your desk due to a busy work schedule, you can use Improve Your Office Day to do just that! Remove every item from your desk and clean every surface, including your PC and computer accessories. Identify items that you need to keep, archive, and junk. Then carefully arrange the items in the first category into shelves and desk drawers.
Invest in ergonomic furniture that improves productivity
Furniture plays a vital role in workplace performance. Investing in furniture that offers more flexibility, comfort, and is attractive can potentially improve the productivity of your office. Check the office stores near you for ergonomic furniture that can fit into your workplace.
Redecorate your office
You can use your spare time during Improve Your Office Day to redecorate your workplace. List changes you want to make during Improve Your Office Day, ensure your employer and coworkers agree with them, if necessary, and invite them to carry out these activities with you. Don’t forget to exchange flower pots!
5 Facts About The Cubicle Not Many Know
It was invented by mistake
Although initially designed to give people more autonomy over their workstations, cubicles became what they are today when many companies figured they could cut costs by putting people in smaller, closed boxes.
It is the most hated office layout
While the original cubicle concept was appreciated as an epitome of office liberation, there’s not much love for it now as it has become associated with an oppressive work environment.
Standing desks are not a new idea
The standing desks now widely used in corporate organizations, mainly in the tech sector, were part of the Action Office, the original cubicle design.
Americans believed a toilet is bigger than a cubicle
A press release in 2007 revealed that many Americans believed that where they used the toilet was bigger than where they worked.
Its inventor denounced it
The inventor of the cubicle, Robert Propst, called the perversion of his invention a “monolithic insanity.”
Why We Love Improve Your Office Day
Improving your office boosts your productivity
Improve Your Office Days provides business owners and employers an opportunity to make changes that can boost their workers’ productivity, such as investing in new technologies, redesigning their office, or doing little things like improving the workplace’s nourishment.
Improving your office allows for a healthy work environment
Research has shown that little things such as allowing more natural light and air in and adding greenery to your workplace can positively influence the health and wellbeing of your work environment.
Improving your office can be fun
Activities such as cleaning your desk, removing unnecessary clutter, and changing your office arrangements can be fun, especially when done with colleagues.
Improve Your Office Day dates