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The rather staid beige and brown décor of the 1970s contrasted with leaps forward in technology.
As more calculator logic was squeezed onto fewer integrated circuits, electronic calculators became small and cheap enough to find their way onto many office desks.
Meanwhile, cassette tape and dictaphones provided new ways to record and access information.
Carbon paper was also cheap enough that multiple copies of a document could be typed in a single sitting, and the advent of electric typewriters made the process even easier. Correction fluid, such as Tipp-Ex, meant minor typographical errors could be corrected easily, reducing the need to retype an entire document.
Office layouts were being simplified, with designers working their furniture schemes around what was called the G-plan.
One of the first executive toys to creep onto desks during this time was the Newton's Cradle.
An electric Smith-Corona typewriter next to a telephone index book with an A-Z slider.
By the 1980s the modern office was becoming recognisable.
The advent of the PC meant the computer moved from a room in the basement to sitting on the desktop.
Personal computers such as the IBM PC (seen here), the Commodore 64, and the Macintosh 128K introduced a step change in how knowledge was processed.
Not that long before the August 1981 debut of the IBM PC, an IBM computer often cost as much as $9m, as well as requiring an air-conditioned quarter-acre of space and 60 people to run and keep loaded with instructions. In contrast, the IBM PC could process information faster than a 1960s mainframe, for a price tag of less than $1,600.
However, computing technology was still relatively crude by today's standards. In 1980 1GB of hard disk space cost £120,000 in today’s money — compared to about 5p today.
In 1983, the world's first commercial handheld cellular phone, the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X, was also released. A caller could talk for 30 minutes and the LED display and memory could store 30 dialling locations. Bulky mobile phones with a short battery life began to be adopted by managers.
The decade also saw fax machines, printers and push button phones taking over the office.