What Millennials Want and How It’s Changing the Face of Office Space
Back in 2010, baby boomers made up more than half of the U.S. workforce, but a study conducted by Forbes projects that 75% of workers will be Millennials by 2025. Driven by mobile technology, changing work styles and the growing presence of Millennials, work spaces are going through a transformation. Perimeter offices are disappearing, floor plans are opening up, and flexible work spaces are replacing the rigid layouts of the past. Here are five office trends that are heavily influenced by the rising number of Millennials in the work force.
- Collaboration Is Key. Many of today’s most innovative companies (Google, Uber, Apple, etc.) were launched in garages and basements. While these meager spaces weren’t intentionally designed to foster innovation, they helped fuel creative ideas that went on to change the world. Today, cutting edge companies are looking to create collaborative work spaces that offer more creature comforts than these early work spaces, but are essentially designed to create a similar environment for innovation and creativity. The goal is to balance both think time and team time through a strategic combination of open work spaces, focus rooms, team areas and private offices.
- Technology Integration. The integration of technology into office furniture will continue to rise in offices throughout the country. USB ports, minimal storage and an increase in outlets within the office are some of the ways office spaces are adapting to changing needs. What’s more, companies will continue to rely on technology to improve mobility for its employees, providing the ability for them to work from different locations in the office or remotely.
- Flexible Work Areas. According to Fuze Business Interiors, creating work space areas that can be easily adapted is an essential element of office design in 2017. The company points out that modular soft seating, workbenches, desk pods and “meet point” are examples of office furniture choices that support a well-designed and adaptable workplace.
- Virtual Becomes Reality: While consumer adaptation of Virtual Reality has been slower than anticipated, look for VR to become more commonplace in the work place. As more millennials enter managerial roles, businesses will start to realize VR’s potential as a collaborative resource. Virtual reality can allow companies to design better products, sell to customers in a more immersive way and, perhaps most critically, train staff faster and more comprehensively.
- Well-being Design: A growing number of employers are embracing employee wellbeing in their office design and see it as a good business strategy, given the link between improved health and reduced absenteeism/increased productivity. “Well-being” design can include smart lighting, air filtration systems, sit-stand desks, ergonomic furniture, natural light, plants, wellness programs and other initiatives that positively impact the health and well-being of employees. Ultimately, these companies believe that what’s good for people is good for the company as they concentrate on ensuring the sustainability of their most important asset… their people.