Millennial Office Design May 23 2017, 0 Comments

We were downright inspired by a recent article at bizjournals.com by Laura Fries.  It tackles the issue of how to create office designs and layouts that millennials will find inviting, flexible, and conducive to productivity.  Millennials tend to think differently about work - including the process of getting work done, the settings where they can be most productive, and the level of collaboration vs. privacy they desire.

ValueClick in Chicago, IL - with permission

This article tackled some very important points about how businesses today can arrange and design their offices and workplace policies, and promoted ideas like these:

  • Making the office feel more like a home, with couches, lounge areas, fireplaces, big screen TVs, and a stocked kitchen area

Getty Images in Seattle,WA - with permission

  • Changing policies around working hours, so that workers can work whenever and wherever inspiration strikes, without having to "turn off creativity" when they leave the office
  • Creating "collaboration zones" where workers can gather to tackle a project or brainstorm a presentation; zones could be booths for 3-4 or medium-sized conference rooms with white boards

Zappos in Las Vegas, NV - with permission

  • Offering flexible workspaces so employees can move around to different parts of your building to work, depending on whether they need quiet, want to stand, need to collaborate, etc.  (Many have called this set up a "hot-desking environment" where workers can grab any workstation or area to work on any given day, which seems to be the set up for the innovative new office for Sky News in London).
  • Better aligning your workplace with the mission of your company; if your company is focused on the environment, your workplace should reflect that (perhaps with the methods for trash & recycling, or with sustainable office furniture like bamboo desks, etc.)

These ideas are excellent and can go a long way toward increasing worker productivity, satisfaction, work/home balance, and even health! 

We don't say "health" lightly, either:

  • Mental health is improved as workers feel more valued at work, and also when they feel better about their work/home balance. 
  • Physical health is improved as workers are able to move around the office, using standing desks or standing while meeting, or even walking on a walking trail at the office while discussing an idea. 
  • And our physical and mental health certainly impacts our emotional and spiritual well-being, so changing the ways offices are arranged can have a positive impact on employees on basically every level!  (And healthier, happier employees are typically much more productive employees).

As more and more companies are filled with fewer baby boomers and more millennials, altering workplaces to reflect this changing demographic will become less an eclectic luxury of the technology company and more a necessity across industries.