Millennials – the generation born between the early 1980s and the late 1990s/early 2000s – are the largest generational group in the workforce today. This generation has grown up with quickly changing technology, value flexibility and aren’t wary of change. Because of their numbers and the attributes that set them apart, Millennials are making waves in the workplace and changing the very way we think of office design.
Smart Office Design: Open Layouts for Collaboration and Communication
Millennials value collaboration and connection. Being caged in a cubicle with high walls and fluorescent overhead lighting is becoming a thing of the past. Flexible, open work spaces with moveable desks, community tables, and more relaxed lounge areas are just some key pieces of what today’s productive-yet-relaxed workplace should look like.
Standing or convertible desks, glass walls instead of solid partitions, and high-efficiency LED lighting are just a few more options available for offices looking to change up their layout in a way that appeals more to this younger generation.
Sparking Creativity through Color and Design Choices
The completely “professional looking” sand-beige office with equally bland beige or navy fabric partitions and furnishings, as you might expect, is not the millennials’ ideal palette for a comfortable, creative workplace. Don’t shy away from texture or color. Explore the use of different materials on walls and floors like wood slat walls and polished concrete flooring.
Opt for comfortable, living room-like colors like foggy greys, soft blues, and warm browns with small doses of bright, fun accents like magenta, pumpkin, and teal. Durable, hard-wearing area rugs can break up the space and soften otherwise cold flooring. Art should be fun, quirky, and local.
Greening the Office – in More Ways Than One
Dusty, fake plants stuffed in the corner should make way for green, growing space dividers, hanging planter baskets, and even terrariums. Many studies have shown the benefits of plants in the office, including stress reduction, improved air quality, and improved productivity – not to mention the natural aesthetic. But, bringing in plant life isn’t the only way millennials are greening up office spaces.
Energy efficiency is paramount, for environmental reasons as well as cost benefit. Going green in the millennial office means more than switching to energy efficient LED light bulbs. Using IoT (Internet of Things) “app controlled” devices, offices can now control everything from the air conditioning to light levels based on the time of day, office occupancy, and more using apps and sensors.
Some managed IoT systems can save up to 90% in energy costs! Along with saving energy costs and reduced environmental impact, these app controlled systems also help create a comfortable, safe work environment.
Millennials thrive on the one constant of the universe – change. Having space to work outside, the ultimate green option, allows for a change of scenery and a breath of fresh air while still being productive. Outdoor options can be as simple as an outdoor table set (with strong WiFi access of course) or as elaborate as a lanai-style covered workspace with both comfortable, lounge-style seating for casual meetings and table sets for working solo. Of course, in Orlando, you’ll want to consider some sort of outdoor fans for keeping this space usable year round!
Shared Space for Change of Pace
Many millennials are opting for jobs that allow them to work remotely. Working in shared workspace environments invites collaboration and offers flexibility and a more “formal” office setting for those that primarily work from home.
Considering making changes to your existing office design to adapt to a more current, collaborative space? Deliberating on whether a shared space would be a good investment for your company? BG Southern can help create the space you need. Contact us today and let us help you turn your dream project into reality.