Over the course of history, every generation has left an impact on the world in new and different ways. By embracing their elders’ successes, generations continue to improve our world and reflect new values.
An influential generation on the rise, Millennials have collectively embraced the futuristic world we live in, and have continued to thrive on communication, appreciate flexibility and fight for choice.
Millennials are also known to lead healthy lifestyles and prioritize their wellbeing, preferring to operate in positive and productive environments. They also like to maintain a healthy balance between life and work, and embrace a collaborative process in their daily lives.
Studies have in fact shown that by 2020, nearly half of all workers will be Millennials. From a design point of view, this spells a surge in the need to create spaces that cater to this generation. This means introducing offices specifically designed to accommodate Millennials, and creating the right mood to stimulate their productivity and embrace their work ethic.
So how exactly do you design your office space to appeal to such a liberal generation?
Millennials are firm believers in open communication and collaboration. They do not embrace linear hierarchy, nor do they support the cubicle-to-office system, which they view as a restrictive and stifling ladder that creates discourse and demotivates workers.
This is why dated office designs that feature high separators, isolating cubicles and bigger and more exclusive offices for higher team members, no longer appeal to today’s generation of employees.
If you want to pique their interests and invite them to work for you, then start by keeping your office design open and airy.
By building communicative spaces that feature minimal separations and using low-surface furniture that doesn’t block eyesight, you can create workspaces that answer to Millennials’ values of productivity and initiative, and embrace an open and positive work environment, communication and teamwork.
This type of exchange also fosters stronger work relationships and encourages improved communication with not only among team members, but rather the collective office personnel.
And while bigger spaces make for more comfortable workstations, this does not mean you cannot succeed in achieving the same effect in smaller areas.
By selecting the right furniture and using it to shape the space without the use of traditional walls, cubicles and blocking separators, you can create the illusion of space even in a smaller surface area, allowing for much better communication.
This one is actually quite simple; Millennials value collaboration, a sharing of ideas and a positive and creative outlook to their work.
When designing your office space, leave a wall where you can mount a chalk or white board that will ultimately serve as a vision board or a space where employees can share their ideas and get inspired by their peers.
You have to, because your employees sure do. Millennials are a generation that thrives in the most technologically-advanced era. They grew up in a computer-controlled world, are skilled when it comes to smartphones and apps, and continue to embrace technology as part of their daily lives. It’s how they communicate, share and excel.
Make sure your office design leaves room for a heavy dose of technology and incorporates innovation and tools that can help your employees find their stride and let their creative juices flow. This goes beyond the expected laptop/phone combo – depending on your line of work, you should consider investing in multipurpose video walls, or even supercomputers, big data and cloud computing systems.
For a generation that embraces a less formal office experience and thrives on socializing, brainstorming and a more relaxed environment, recreational spaces are key.
By including shared areas where your team can let loose and kick their feet up for a few moments, you’re helping eliminate creativity barriers and fostering a more collaborative atmosphere.
Adding games such as ping pong, foosball or pool tables can serve as a very effective ice breaker between your employees and can help nurture closer bonds. This kind of social clash is known to stimulate competition and reinvigorate workers.
For bigger spaces, including rooms such as small gyms or an oh-so-fun Instagram-style gravity room can stimulate creativity, create a healthier dynamic and embrace a more fun and social atmosphere in your company.
In terms of furniture, the choice is yours. Round tables, for example, are a good idea for bigger interactions. They allow those seated around to see one another, and because all communication starts with eye contact, they encourage employees to socialize. Rectangle tables, in contrast, foster more private conversation, as they are more isolating in parts.
Of course, proper break rooms and cafeterias are also of the norm. Generally speaking, Millennials are a very health-conscious generation. They put great thought into their lifestyles and are very careful about what they put in their body.
If your office has access to a terrace or an outdoor space, then we highly recommend that you utilize this area to create a green, open-air lounge for your employees to enjoy. Green spaces promote wellbeing, foster positivity, and boost productivity.
On the other hand, if your space does not include any open-air areas, you can achieve the same effect indoors, by featuring plenty of windows in your design to let in plenty of natural lighting, using proper ventilation and including plants and natural greenery.
This creates the illusion of a green space in the confines of your workplace.