Millennial Driven Design Trends for Your Workplace

When the topic of millennials is first brought up, it generally starts off with “employee’s needs are changing.” It’s not that employees needs are necessarily changing, but employers are just now listening and adapting. The difference now is that employers are open to accommodating these needs in order to increase productivity, maintain an efficient workplace and reduce millennial turnover in their offices. Millennials are fortunate enough to be the first generational cohort to really influence and benefit from this new age of thinking. It is the responsibility of older generations to be open to new ideas, but also to use their knowledge of the world to guide the ever-changing workplace in the right direction. With that in mind, perhaps you will be open to listening, adapting, and creating the office of the future.

Today, millennials account for a good majority of the workforce and they’re coming in hot with new ideas and high expectations of what their workplace environment should be. Millennials are looking for flexibility, collaboration, work-life balance and up-to-date technology when they head into the office every day, and it’s up to the designers to make sure that this happens. Avoiding the “traditional” design of secluded cubicles and private offices will help to create a productive office environment and culture for everyone.

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Flexibility/ Collaboration

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

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Work-Life Balance

All 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 their office 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 coffee makers, vending machines, games, bean bag chairs, and having a design of stimulating color schemes around the office will create a more enjoyable, fun space. 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 a potential millennial employee. Some companies even have gym facilities for employees to use at their leisure. These office environment trends may seem very out of the ordinary from what constituted as an “office” in the past, but these new trends will help eliminate millennial turnover in the present and the future.

Technology

Millennials have grown up using technology and they really don’t know a life without it. In order to attract and retain millennials in your office, make sure your company is up-to-date with the latest and greatest technology.  Embracing new technology proves to millennials that your company is constantly growing and innovating, which will lead to them being more efficient and productive in the workplace. Providing employees with cutting-edge technology not only increases positive work ethic but 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.

The type of office environment that you provide your millennial employees matters! It influences their productivity, efficiency and overall attitudes toward your company. With this insight in mind, hiring a design expert who knows the latest in creating an innovative workplace and understands the needs of this generation is a must. The world today is fast-paced and ever-changing, so keeping up with the trends and desires that are expected in the workplace is crucial. Millennials want creative spaces, a home away from home office, and the latest technology to stay up to speed. Take these key points into consideration when designing your office environment and you will not only accommodate millennials’ needs, but will benefit the entire company in the long run.