How Millennials are impacting today’s workplace design
The workplace of today keeps on changing with every passing year. What we call the modern workplace today, might not be that modern five years down the line.
The workplace is changing quite fast driven by a blend of emerging trends and the desire to provide something extra, more than just being a physical space. Innovations and trends like coworking that are driving the change in architectural design.
However, apart innovations, employees are also driving the paradigm shift to transform the office space. As the dynamics of a workplace are witnessing professional growth of Millennials there is a need to create a translucent design that will blend in the requirements of this generation.
As millennials continue to thrive, designers can ideate with employers and employees to create a design that will be more radical, adaptable and balanced.
Here are a few characteristics of the millennials at the workplace and how their involvement in the workplace is changing today’s office space:
Thrive on competition, and not just collaboration
So, what does this mean to the workplace design? Companies attempting to attract the young population or rather the millennials have since been forced to foster healthy competition among employees while enabling collaboration through open, transparent working environments that provide employees with visibility into their colleagues’ activities and level of performance. They have also opted for a variety of options for working spaces, like offices that include traditional desks, standing desks, quiet areas, walking workstations, and cafés.
This in turn is killing the traditional office space set up and giving way to great coworking spaces. This in turn is slowly killing the close-walled, exterior offices and high-walled cubes to workstations designed to create spontaneous interaction.
Me Space andme time
As much as Millennials are into collaboration occasionally, they opt to have a little bit of privacy especially when they are working or need to meet critical deadlines. Companies that are looking into having millennials as part of their team have since added in a dash of privacy.
This has seen today’s workplace consolidate these requirements in a set given space with creativity. For example, in an open plan setting both breakout rooms and privacy pods are available, each employee can utilize it as per one’s requirement. Today’s workplaces have also incorporated nap rooms, soundproof skype booths that enable the millennials have their ‘me’ time
Millennials admire unconventional and unique designs which give them a sense of individuality. The days of subtle ‘office-like’ colors of gray and blue are passé.
It’s time to introduce brighter, livelier colors, contrasting color palette can help for premises really stand out. Use of uncommon paint effects, bold illustrations and artwork are also new ways that the workplace design is changing thanks to the millennials.
More workplaces are now adopting Informal environment with asymmetric patterns for office furniture, bean-bags, yoga mats, board games etc.is the way to go.
Millennials are always on the move and they do not spend most of their time stuck on their desks, and neither do they want the timeworn cubicle-oriented design. With open-planned layout dominating majority of the office design, one can add collaborative, portable and reconfigurable furniture in the setting to complete the look. Desks with adjustable height and chairs with removable backrests can be a good option.
As these can be modified as per one’s requirement, their uniqueness will provide comfort as well as a modern touch. It provided as new level of freedom of space at work besides breaking monotony and driving mobility. Further, collaborative zones can increase the approachability index and foster an environment that will put an ease in the communication. Hot-desking can also be incorporated, a style that doubles up as an option to choose working spot.
Touch of nature
Companies looking to hire the younger generation can now include indoor plants as part of their office design. Large windows can be specially designed to attract more sunlight and encourage great views of the surrounding, something that will also benefit your employees. Inclusion of vertical gardens both outdoors and indoors can help the space look less pro-forma, something Millennials will appreciate.
Ergonomics is the science of designing the workplace, keeping in mind the capabilities and limitations of the worker. Poor worksite design leads to fatigued, frustrated and hurting workers. This rarely leads to the most productive worker. More likely, it leads to a painful and costly injury, lower productivity and poor product quality.
That said with Millennials taking over today’s workplace, a workspace meant for them needs to be harmonized in a way that fulfills their needs rather than having them to adjust in the existing environment. With longer working hours and rising stress levels, ergonomics is going to become an important aspect of workplace design.
There are many options for ergonomically designed furniture from convertible seating to singular workstations to choose from.
Also, while setting up an office space with millennials in mind, opt for furniture that has high functionality over ordinary designs. Such addition is going to be a positive investment for any company, as with each passing year the inflow of both the generations will be on a rise.
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