Right now, Millennials are already the largest segment in the workplace. In the next two years, we will see 50% of the U.S. workforce made up of Millennials, and it will be 75% by 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (source). With millennials well established in today’s workforce, it makes sense that workplace design is now reflecting their generational values and habits, among which are meaning and authenticity, environmental and social consciousness, and communal collaboration.
Employers have caught on to modern employees, and know that they do their best work when they’re healthy, happy, and have a sense of purpose. Therefore, workspace design is trending toward meeting those needs creatively with the goal of enhancing the performance of the people utilizing the space with these popular solutions:
A workspace that doesn’t feel like an office. Engaged, creative, and productive employees are of tremendous benefit to their employers. A workspace that is more pleasant, nurturing and comfortable not only inspires employees to do their best work, it also makes the employer occur as more authentic and trustworthy to its staff. (source) The career mindset of today’s worker is based on a work-life balance (vs. just leaving work at the office), which is achieved for many individuals by creating purpose and meaning in work, having fun at work, and participating in collaborative work environments. A homey workplace is valued, and can be achieved by utilizing living room furniture, fireplaces, kitchens and even showers, and dynamic, activity-based spaces. There is a transition occurring from “I have to work” to “I get to work” thinking, and that is resulting in employees who are happier, more energized and more productive than ever.
Biophilic design brings the outside in. As living creatures, we all have an instinctive bond with nature. More organic environments, with healthier, natural light and air, plants, renewable energy sources, organic colors, patterns, and materials are less stressful and more nurturing of imagination and creativity. “Green” design can be achieved even in urban workspaces with the implementation of living walls, rooftop gardens, skylights, and creative branding and imagery. Today’s workers are not only more environmentally conscious consumers than ever, they’re also more likely to work for environmentally and socially conscious employers, and even start their own organizations working toward those express purposes (just Google “green millennial companies”). Good office design can express the brand’s story, showcase company culture, and even work as a recruiting tool on those visiting the space. Culture can always inform design, so ask yourself if your design choices agree with the brand story you want to tell.
Traditional commercial office real estate is laid out with private and executive offices circling the space’s exterior, huddling the junior associates and amenities in the center of the space blocked off from any direct window light. As the separation between home and office continues to blur and work spaces are accommodating longer work hours a space optimized for natural daylight and fresh air access is a necessity for employees of all levels.
Large, flexible open spaces. Square footage per person can still drop even as amenities offered increase with the growing popularity of open concept design. This means you can get more out of the same space, or even opt for a smaller space. Open air environments, bench desking, and casual seating clusters are being utilized to maximize space efficiency and collaborative communication. Huddle rooms, phone booths, even meditation and nap rooms are sound proofed and tucked away from high traffic in lieu of private offices and cubes. This non-restrictive space trend still accommodates limitless design styles including selection and comfort for working: standing desks, yoga balls, ergonomic chairs, even homey overstuffed chairs and couch configurations, and recreation areas for those essential mental breaks. Encouraging innovation through office design.
Dynamic coworking and furniture configuration. No need to carry chairs, scoot together tables, and fiddle with computer cables to work together. Technology has advanced and so have our work styles, now aimed toward collaboration, brainstorming, and innovation. Modern workplace furniture reflects this trend with modular furniture on wheels, portable wall dividers, charging stations, and open-concept layouts previously described to accommodate portable work on today’s portable devices. Openness to the ability to work in different spaces instead of being in an assigned office or at an assigned desk all day long encourages innovation in employees through design.
If you’re looking to breathe new life into your workplace design with an upcoming remodel, APSGC is here to help!
APSGC Creative Office Design-Build Remodel: Olmstead CPA
APSGC Creative Co-Working Office Remodel: Moniker Commons
APSGC Design & Fabrication Services
APSGC Green Building Services
APSGC Office and Commercial Interior Remodeling
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