Workplace Design Trends Driven by Millennials

When the topic of millennials is first mentioned it generally starts off saying that employee’s needs are changing. I believe that employees needs are not necessarily changing, but that employers are now listening. Millennials are shaped by their family, friends, and even strangers. The difference is that employers are now open to those needs, in order to increase productivity, make a more efficient workplace and reduce millennial turnover. Millennials are fortunate to be the first to benefit from this new age of thinking. It is the responsibility of generations before to be open to new ideas, but also to use their knowledge of the world to guide the ever-changing workplace. With that in mind, perhaps you will feel more open to creating the office of the future.

Today, millennials are the largest generation in the workplace and they’re coming in hot with new ideas and high expectations of an office environment. Millennials are looking for flexibility, collaboration, work-life balance and up to date technology in the work atmosphere. It’s up to the designers to make sure that happens. Avoiding the traditional design of high cubicles and private offices will help to create a productive office environment and culture.

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Flexibility/ Collaboration

One thing that this generation thrives on in an office is flexibility. This includes open spaces and room to move away from their desk. They value their freedom and want to be able to decide where they work, whether it be a standing desk, a work pod or shared workspace where they can work in partnership with their team. Creating a relaxed and mobile atmosphere will help to make millennials comfortable in their workplace. Having social rooms such as lounges and kitchens, as well as team brainstorming areas consisting of booths and couches can boost productivity and collaboration. Millennials feed off of social atmospheres and would benefit from an open floor plan, allowing employees to easily interact with their co-workers more and eliminate the feeling of being enclosed.

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Work-Life Balance

Workspaces should provide a sense of work-life balance for their employees. Unlike the baby boomers who grew up working in settings of structure instead of an open floor plan, millennials need work to be their home away from home. That means they need to feel some sort of relaxation and ease while being at work. Having amenities such as a coffee maker, vending machines, games, bean bag chairs, and having a design of stimulating color schemes around the office will create a more fun and enjoyable workplace. Employees should have options of different spaces to work or take a break within the office; so, having a variety of areas such as break rooms, meeting rooms, a kitchen, tap room, and a lounge area would make a company seem more appealing to your potential employee. Some companies even have gym facilities for employees to use at their leisure. These trends may seem very out of the ordinary from past generations but these are examples of what will help to eliminate millennial turnover. It will only help your company in the long run by promoting this type of environment.

Technology

Millennials have grown up using technology since the day they were born, they don’t know a life without it. In order to attract millennials to your office, companies need to make sure they have the latest and greatest technology.  Embracing new technology and innovation shows millennials that the company is constantly growing and improving and will create a more efficient and productive workplace. Having cutting-edge technology not only increases positive work ethic but it also allows your employees to work from anywhere, providing the flexibility that millennials desire. Some examples of trending technology used in the workplace are:

  1. Slack: Slack is an app that you can download on both your phone and computer that allows you to interact with coworkers. This gets rid of the delay of emailing your coworker a question that can easily be answered through an instant message.
  2. VPN: Companies with a VPN network allow employees to connect to the company server anywhere as long as they have Wi-Fi, allowing employees to work remotely.
  3. Go-to Meeting: Go-to Meeting makes it easier to meet, talk & share computer screens with customers. This video messaging software can help create strong foundations and relationships with clients who you might not be able to see often due to distance.

Now that you can see how important an office environment impacts millennials, hiring a design expert who understands the latest in creating an efficient workplace and the needs of this generation. Today, the world is fast-paced and ever-changing, so keeping up with the trends and desires that are expected is crucial. Millennials want creative spaces, an office to feel like a home away from home, and the latest technology to stay up to speed. Take these key points into consideration when designing an office and you will be successful in creating an office that will not only interest millennials but can be beneficial to all employees.