Compared with offices of the past, the modern workplace is paradoxically both more informal and more relentless. Doors have been replaced by cubicles, formal desks with tables, and long-planned meetings with ad hoc collaboration. Work and home have blended, to the general benefit of work: more and more of us are available at all times, on smartphones and tablets, for e-mail and instant messaging.
The look and function of office productivity software, including icons like scissors and clipboards, have been slower to change. As mobility and collaboration become standards of work, however, the design and function of things like document creation and sharing are changing too.
For decades, adjusting fonts and type sizes was used persuade clients and co-workers in office documents. And people e-mailed one another attachments of work they had created alone. But now, an emphasis is placed on fast turnaround, effective presentation on small screens, and the use of pictures and graphics as much as words.