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How to Design a Millennial-Friendly Office

Millennials today make up about a third of the workforce globally and Forbes reports that by 2025, that number will jump to more than 75 percent. Millennials are tech-savvy and creative, and many times reject the traditional nine-to-five work schedule. In order to recruit and retain this group, human resource professionals are working closely with facility managers, interior designers, architects and construction personnel to tailor the modern office space to the millennial preference. Incorporating an open layout with a modern design can help to attract and retain this group of future leaders.

Design and Furniture

Millennials seek out forward thinking companies to work for and office spaces that reflect a similar attitude. The physical layout of the office is the first clue into company culture, so instead of traditional cubicles, they may look for contemporary furniture and a design that mirrors the company’s creative mentality. Millennials also tend to prefer open floor plans where they can sit and engage with fellow team members. An open floorplan mentally eliminates the concept of a strict organizational hierarchy and instead presents a high level of transparency that provides new employees with a first-hand look at how the organization operates. Portable desks and chairs are easy ways to cultivate collaboration between team members or provide a simple change of scenery.

Break Out Areas

Millennials have a distinct work style, mostly in that it differs from many generations before them. Conventional conference rooms and meeting areas don’t convey the progressive and flexible atmosphere they crave. Rather, designate break out spaces that foster spontaneous brainstorms or meetings to encourage innovative approaches and boost productivity in the workplace. Furnishing these spaces with comfortable seating and the necessary technology promotes easy and relaxed communication. From group work to private work, these break out areas can cater to all daily activities of the millennial employee.

Community Space

As the social generation, it is important for millennials to recognize a social element in the workplace. Coffee bars and accessible kitchen areas provide gathering places for employees to socialize and create a sense of community between all generations in the office. Allow employees to contribute to the design of the office with a photo wall or place to showcase inspirational articles. The millennial wants to feel at home in their office space, especially catered to their odd hours of work.

Millennials will continue to influence and bring changes to traditional office spaces for many years. The trend of contemporary, modern and millennial-designed office space is likely here to stay and those companies who can successfully execute them will have an attractive advantage as the place to be for the working millennial.

Andy Hehl is the sales manager at Pine River Group, the North American distributor of Kebony.

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