In years past, as the torch was passed from Baby Boomers to Generation Xers, office designs changed. As Millennials quickly become the majority in the work force, they will take up the torch from the remaining Baby Boomers and the Generation Xers. With the millennial majority firmly in place, more changes will come in office design as each new generation brings fresh perspective on office feel and function.
Everyone from the small business owner to the giant corporation CEO who wants to reign in new talent and make a good first impression on customers and colleagues, should begin making changes now to attract the members of the millennial generation. So, to answer the question, “are millennial trends changing office design?” the answer is resoundingly, “YES!” Here’s how.
Flexibility is Key
The modern workplace should be offer flexible workspace and offices that deliver a modern vibe, and allow for both efficiency and creativity. Millennial employers and employees want workspaces which are flexible, collaborative, and mobile. The days of sitting at a desk for eight or more hours are dwindling as research shows it decreases productivity and hampers employee engagement and collaboration. Building into the workplace the opportunity to move not only encourages creativity, but effectively enhances team building. Common areas create the opportunity to be flexible and more productive, while nooks and booths can be included when privacy is required. Mobility is a part of the flexibility movement of millennials, allowing employees to break free of traditional offices and workstations, and work from literally anywhere. An unexpected benefit of workplace flexibility is the fact that it allows employees to adapt, often working longer hours while still maintaining the work-life balance millennials crave.
Minimalism for Millennials
Truthfully, the minimalists movement is not just for millennials, as many generations are embracing the movement and decluttering their lives and workplaces. Cramped, dark offices and cubicles with cluttered desks are becoming a thing of the past, as minimalists of all ages embrace sleek design, wireless technology, and smaller, more mobile devices. While modern offices embrace minimalism, storage is still needed, and savvy companies are meeting the need with work areas and furnishings which deliver storage to hide clutter and retain the understated clean contemporary look. Today’s modern office spaces present a clean, attractive, uncluttered appearance to welcome employees and customers alike.
Incorporating Quality Natural Elements
Offices and workplaces of the past were monotonous, featureless spaces bathed in artificial light. Remember the dusty silk plants, Formica topped desks, fluorescent lighting, and linoleum flooring. Fast forward to today, where companies are introducing natural accents like reclaimed wood, natural stone, and live plants to office spaces. The goal is to deliver workspaces which are not only comfortable, but also enjoyable places to earn a living. Millennials believe workplaces should be more like home, allowing them to relax and experience less stress which, in turn, results in happy employees and a productive environment.
Along with the addition of natural elements comes enhanced natural light and accent lighting. No more dark, tight claustrophobic spaces, or the feeling of being locked in a dungeon. Instead, millennials are drawn to large open, window laden spaces which allow in a great deal of natural light. Natural light is inviting and brings a feeling of connectedness to employees and customers. In opposition to the fluorescent lighting which was formerly the lighting of choice for office environments (and linked to eye strain, headaches, migraines, and anxiety), modern offices are choosing accent lighting and desk lights.
Perillo Construction is ready to help you bring your office spaces and workplaces into the 21st century, with modern, millennial-friendly office design. Call today.