Ready or not, millennial office employees are here to stay. Gone are the days of satisfying workers with compensation alone. The youngest generation of coworkers set their sights much higher, expecting not only decent pay but benefits that will improve their overall quality of life inside and outside of work. Among these, they expect a beautiful office to call home. Here are a few design trends to consider adding to your office to keep millennials interested in your business and working at their full potential.
Workstations of Every Type
According to a 2017 study from IPSOS, 76% of millennials between the ages of 18 and 34 feel office design and aesthetics somewhat or strongly influence their impression of a company. Although the first impression an individual will likely get in your office will be your front lobby or waiting room, workstations provide the backdrop employees will see for most of the day. How you design your office's workstations is hugely important, but be careful not to jump on the open concept bandwagon simply because you think it's what millennials want. Spoiler alert: It's not.
Although some employees thrive in a wallless, collaborative desk space, no 2 workers are created equal. Introverts exist, and they need a little peace and quiet to get the job done.
To accommodate employees of all personality types and job functions, incorporate a variety of workspaces into your office. Maybe the marketing team needs to collaborate regularly, but the sales team needs privacy for taking customer calls. In this situation, try adding benching to the marketing area and call center desking or cubicles in sales. Even employees who work in an open-concept situation need privacy from time to time, so you may also want to designate spaces around the office for quiet work.
Ergonomic Furniture That Promotes an Active Workstyle
In addition to needing a space where they can work effectively, millennials want furniture that fosters a healthy lifestyle during business hours. The best step toward this goal is to equip every workstation with an adjustable-height desk. Can't afford to swap out your old desks with new ones? No problem. Adjustable-height desk risers like the Ascent can be placed on top of any work surface and used in the same way.
Once your employees have the option to sit or stand while they work, take it a step further by allowing them to stay active while they sit as well. If you're wondering how in the world you can both be sitting and staying active, we have the answer—active stools and chairs. Ball chairs and perch stools are designed to allow employees to fidget and move while they sit, ensuring they aren't facing the negative health effects that come with sitting all day. It's a perk millennials expect and one that employees of all generations will surely appreciate.
Collaborative Meeting Areas
Whether or not a collaborative workstation is appropriate for your employees will depend on the individual and their job function. Still, every office should include at least one collaborative "touchdown" area to foster teamwork between coworkers. These meeting spaces are located in otherwise open, unused areas of the office and act as casual conference spaces that don’t need to be booked ahead. This way, employees can still meet to share ideas even when all formal conference rooms are booked.
The same IPSOS study revealed that 70% of respondents who work in an office wish their workplace would consider a design upgrade, indicating a strong desire for an attractive, inspiring space to work. Adding a touchdown meeting area to your office is a simple way to achieve a modern, updated look and feel. These meeting areas require no moving, no building of new walls, and no extravagant budget. An open area and some comfortable furniture will do the trick.