As the Millennium sadly drifts further from our memories, the millennial generation have become the centre of more and more discussion. And, it turns out we need to pay close attention to them. Predictions suggest that by 2025, 75% of the workplace will consist of millennial employees.
As we begin to understand more about the effects that workspaces have on employee wellbeing and productivity, it makes sense that employers are now listening to the wishes of their workers.
The Modern Workspace
Modern workspaces are beginning to focus on their people, their wellbeing and their ideas surrounding work culture more than ever before.
When talking to the Guardian, Steve Henigan, regional leader at HOK, a global architecture and engineering firm said, “In recent years, terms such as productivity and employee wellbeing have become more and more prominent during the briefing stage of a project. And hence we are starting to see more buildings which are centred on how people use them.”
“Individuals expect their employers to have environmental and social policies with similar values to their own views and as the war for talent continues there is a significant competition to be recognized as an ‘Employer of Choice.'”
The Home of Happiness
A prime and exceptional example of this shift in workspace design lies with the workspace provider Office Space in Town (OSIT).
Their latest space on Tudor Street in Blackfriars, coined ‘the Home of Happiness’ is a pretty spectacular place. Every inch of its design, the natural materials and light, the sit/stand desks, the onsite gym and the speakeasy arcade room promote a feeling of happiness and calm from wall to wall.
OSIT, a family run business worth £21.5M own all their buildings meaning they have total freedom to design the workspace as extravagantly as they wish. And that’s exactly what they did with this £8.5M refurbishment.
Thinking outside the box, all to make people smile, this workspace is revolutionary. With models of real dogs, giraffes in the meeting rooms and monkeys in all nooks and crannies, there certainly is no such thing as a dull day around here.
Happiness in the workplace for the millennial generation also springs from having a healthy, eco-friendly environment to work from. As pointed out by Connect, “Millennials grew up with more of an awareness of the need to recycle, conservation and the threat of global warming, so it is only natural that environmental practices of an organization should be a concern.”
And within many London buildings particularly, this goes further than switching to eco-friendly bulbs. OSIT’s building for example features clear view dynamic glass that reduces lighting and HVAC electricity by up to 20% through controlling glare and heat.
Again, this is another factor of wellness. Tinting in line with the brightness of the sun and reducing glare causes less strain on the eyes and fewer headaches. The technology also eliminates the need for blinds so uplifting, natural views are never far away.
On the other hand, making eco-friendly changes doesn’t have to be a huge affair. Officio provide all their employees with branded canvas lunch bags to save on plastic bags. And, on the wellness side of things, each member of the team sits with a small plant on their desk. The little things can make a surprisingly big difference over time.
The Design Difference
Design trends are another aspect of the workspace that are changing thanks to the lifestyle of millennials. This generation are used to constant connectivity, they have grown up with easy access to Wi-Fi and smartphones from a young age.
Therefore, social environments with constant contact to others is something they have become accustomed to. This has led to less defined boundaries between home and work life, far more so than with any other generation.
With this in mind it is easy to see why the open plan workspace, with its variety of settings and workstations suits the millennial era perfectly. Having the space to break away and unwind on sofas or comfortable settings boosts the productivity of younger employees. Similarly, surrounding themselves by people in community centred workspaces is natural and comfortable.
While there are many factors that contribute to the changing face of modern workspaces, there seems to be one thing that ties it all together – the desires and preferences of the new wave employee, millennials.
Here at Officio we cover a huge selection of workspaces, from planet and people friendly to the classic professional feel. Whatever you’re looking for we’re here to help. Just give us a call – 020 3053 3882.