With the millennial generation set to comprise a projected 75 percent of workers by 2025, the workplace as we know it is fundamentally changing.
This young workforce requires space for collaboration, places to unwind, recharge, and connect with their coworkers, the comforts of home, and an eco-friendly, healthy work environment. For an employer, understanding how to accommodate the needs of a new generation of employee may seem like a daunting task, but it does not have to be.
Make Your Office Millennial-Friendly Through Smart Design
A millennial-friendly office is more than just aesthetics, it is about improving the overall workplace experience for employees.
Comforts of Home
Young people are accustomed to living in an “always-connected” world. With access to email and friends 24/7, they do not separate home life and work life as much as previous generations.
When they are in the office, they need the workspace to be comfortable as if they were at home. This new way of working is often referred to as “work-casual” design.
Employers can accommodate the desire for work-life integration by including some simple home comforts.
- A kitchen with places to store their food or snacks.
- Areas with couches or comfortable furniture where they can collaborate with coworkers.
- Quiet zones for independent work
Space for Collaboration and Creativity
Creating spaces for collaboration and creativity gives young employees variety in their work environments and supports their desire for social interaction during the workday. Since they are always connected, millennials are accustomed to working in different areas with different people.
This means fewer cubicles and private offices, and more open-concept spaces for collaboration.
These spaces for collaboration are not just another boardroom; they can be breakout spaces, lounges, booths, kitchens, hallways, or open-concept areas with couches.
This flexible work environment is what the millennial workforce desires and has been proven to considerably increase productivity. Employees are more likely to stay engaged when they have the freedom to move around to different areas while working.
Millennials grew up with more of an awareness of the need to recycle, conservation and the threat of global warming, so it is only natural that environmental practices of an organization should be a concern.
Young employees prefer when companies use recycled or reclaimed materials and these can be incorporated into office design: recycled materials in office furniture, LED lighting instead of florescent bulbs, etc. These items not only appeal to millennial workers but can also contribute to reduced costs.
Health Conscious Work Environments
Millennials want their health and well-being to be taken into consideration when designing and furnishing an office.
Offering them the option to work at sit/stand workstations will promote healthy work habits and show that you care about their well being.
For the times that they are sitting, provide seating that promotes good posture and comfort. Choosing the right chairs, keyboards and monitor arms can make a significant difference.
Adapt Your Work Environment to Keep Up with Modern Needs
Workspaces can and should be designed in a way that allows young employees to thrive while not compromising aesthetics and the bottom line. A well-designed office environment can inspire and engage young workers and increase retention.
Consider their mindset and create a work environment in which they will succeed. This will demonstrate that you care about them, and as a result they will work harder and stay longer.
The millennial wave is here, so ensure you incorporate their needs and wants into your workspace design.
Connect Resource Managers and Planners Inc. is a team of experienced commercial interior design and furniture specialists with a passion to help businesses create productive, functional, unique and healthy work spaces. Learn more about our workplace solutions.
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