For all the bad press they receive, the fact is that millennials represent more than one third of the US population. It’s estimated that by 2025 they will make up more than 75% of the nation’s workforce. Because of this they have become the most influential generation since the baby boomers. This influence also extends to the workplace. This article discusses how workplace office design is being influenced by millennials.
Open Concept Spaces
Cubicles have long had a bad rap and probably for good reason. Many people find being penned in by a pseudo office not only humiliating, but a hindrance to creative thinking and networking. Although it’s possibly the result of the consequences of the cubicles experienced by the generations before them, millennials are more apt to appreciate open concept spaces that allow for ease of movement and open communication.
Alternative Work Spaces
One problem with open concept spaces is the amount of noise and distraction. Because of this, having access to alternative work spaces is also valued amongst millennials. This can be something as simple as working in the cafeteria, using a laptop while sitting on a couch or having access to standing desk. Although there may be just as much noise or distraction, it’s the availability of choice that’s important.
Millennials have been known to take their food options more seriously than past generations. The fact that packaged foods have been slowly losing their appeal since they were first introduced as a food revolution along with better education about food in general has changed the way diet is viewed. The increase in the number of vegetarians and vegans is ample proof. Vending machines full of sugary snacks and sodas or mass produced cafeteria food isn’t likely to cut it with the new generation. Having a wide variety of food options easily available has become an important part of job satisfaction.
In the past, the only collaborative area in an office would have been the boardroom. The boardroom has since become a sign of stuffiness and rigidity. Although boardrooms may still have a role to play in the modern office, other collaborative areas such as games rooms, outdoor spaces and lounge areas have been found to provide similar results in a more casual environment.