The Millennials, also known as Generation Y or the Net Generation are not coming…they’ve arrived! And they’re demanding a more flexible, adaptive and connected workplace design.
Millennials – the generation born between 1980 and mid-2000 – grew up in an electronics-filled and socially-networked world which means workplace design is now under the influence of the digital native culture.
Millennials constitute a large percentage of the workforce in Australian organisations, According to a 2015 Deloitte Millennial Study, more than half aspire to become a leader or senior executive within their current organisation. With employee costs representing the largest expense for any company, businesses need to future-proof workplace design to retain valued employees and attract new talent.
So how are millennials changing workplace design?
The traditional office design of rows upon rows of walled-in cube desks is on the way out. In its place comes a more collaborative and friendly environment which removes the hierarchical barriers of the past in favour of things such as discussion pods, breakout areas and hot desks. To cater for the ever increasing amount of office technology, many workplaces are replacing laptops with tablets, allowing employees to become more mobile and therefore encouraging a flexible workplace design.
Millennials seek a more cooperative, comfortable environment with better acoustics that encourages flexibility, creativity and engagement. The rise of digital internal communication has left this generation feeling disconnected from their coworkers, leading them to place a high value on a relaxed workplace which allows them to freely socialise.
What does the office of the future look like?
Imagine modular glass walls, allowing employees to open or close up a work space depending on their needs whilst still allowing a feeling of connectivity to their coworkers. Transparent walls promote interaction and break down the hierarchical barriers associated with private offices for higher up employees.
Adjustable furniture allows flexibility and can be rearranged, moved out of the way or expanded to cater for more employees. Office furniture will have integrated technology including charging plugs and USB ports, and we can expect to see an increase of wireless charging and instant connecting of devices for easy collaboration.
Shared workspaces with unassigned seating promotes an egalitarian team approach, encouraging employees to join in discussions and brainstorm together. Complementing these open areas there will be ‘isolation areas’ which provide private time for quiet productivity and tasks which require focus.
Companies will continue to embrace green solutions with the rise of the Cloud negating the need for paper and the storage of physical documents. This is further promoted as glass walls will act as writing surfaces for collaborative sessions. Wherever possible, furniture and décor will be sourced from environmentally friendly materials.
This shift towards workplaces becoming more adaptable towards employee needs is critical. Be one step ahead of your competitors – contact Bowen to arrange a consultation to discuss your workplace interior needs, and future-proof your business.