The Workplace Reimagined: The Impact of Millennials on Office Design

As more Millennials begin to graduate college and enter the workforce, companies are faced with the challenge of trying to acquire and retain top talent. Unlike previous generations, Millennials are entering the workplace with an increased desire for communication, collaboration and flexibility. This stands in contrast to years past when new employees tended to focus more on trying to fit in with the current company culture and beginning their career.

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According to FacilityExecutive.com, Millennial workers currently comprise nearly 40 percent of the U.S. workforce and will be responsible for 75 percent of all employees by 2025. This dramatic generational shift in the workplace is becoming increasingly evident in the values today’s employees hold. While older generations tend to be more focused on monetary earnings and individual work, Millennials tend to value a work-life balance and a collaborative workspace.

Business.com recently detailed the four key areas that Millennials are impacting when it comes to workplace culture and office design. They are:

Communication

With a desire for instant gratification, antiquated communication methods like e-mails are being substituted for in-person conversations and text messages. Millennial workers are attracted to an open workspace that allows for quick and easy contact.

Flexibility

A standard 9-to-5 work day and small cubicles are quickly becoming things of the past. Millennials crave a work-life balance that allows them to have flexibility within their daily schedule, including the hours they work and the environment they work in. The growing popularity of sit-stand and treadmill desks is largely due to the widespread Millennial desire for healthy and adaptable workspaces.

Collaboration

Millennial employees prefer to work in a group settings where managers work as part of the team rather than instructing each employee what to do. Individual cubicles and offices are giving way to open areas and coworking spaces where employees can easily communicate and share ideas with multiple members of the team.

Values

While monetary compensation is important, social responsibility is also highly valued by Millennials. A study conducted by Deloitte found that over 60 percent of Millennial workers say that their organization’s purpose is the reason they chose to work there. Millennials are much more likely to be happy and engaged at a company that aligns with their personal values. With that in mind, it’s important to realize that what a company values can easily be seen in its office design. A closed-off building with drab colors doesn’t show employees that they’re free to communicate and build relationships with their coworkers.

As new employees enter the workforce, their values dictate the future of the modern office. Millennials crave flexibility and collaboration and that’s becoming more evident in the ever-changing world of office design.