How are Millennials redefining the workspace?
The energy of the Millennials and the Gen Z cannot be confined to cubicles. They want to break free and breathe in an environment that is conducive and inspiring. The Indian start-up boom and digitization of Indian industries is redefining workplace trends. Right from the working style, ethics and skillset to workplace design; everything is changing, for the better.
Functional workspaces are now a recruitment and employee engagement tool. Furthermore, as per a 2017 study from IPSOS, a survey conducted on millennials in the U.S, 76% of the respondents who belong to the age group of 18 and 34 felt that office design and aesthetics strongly influence their impression of a company. So, if you want to attract and retain the futuristic talent pool, you need to keep pace with the others in the working space arena.
Take the cue and get inspired
Steve Jobs taught us one simple yet significant thing, “Design Matters”. This simple concept can be a game changer for you. The envelope of workplace designs has been pushed further, and it’s time we take a cue from the best in the world and get inspired to do more. Here is your dose of inspiration:
Facebook moved to a whopping 430,000 square foot “garden-roofed fantasyland” office.
Apple has plans for a new Cupertino campus which will look like a giant alien spacecraft.
Google will have a new mountain view headquarter that will have miles of super-transparent glass. The interior workspace will be highly customizable and futuristic and can be reshaped by robots and cranes as per needs.
These are the tech-giants who were already famous for their innovative workplace and yet they know that they haven’t done enough. So, they keep pushing their boundaries and keep winning.
Tips to Millennial-Proof Your Office
There is always a room for improvement. So, whether you are looking to upgrade your workspace to woo millennials or are looking for inspiration to create a brand-new workstation for the younger workforce, refer to these tips that will guide you through a millennial-proof office:
Ergonomic Furniture for an active lifestyle
Millennials are health conscious and they get fascinated with places that foster a healthy lifestyle even during work hours. Ergonomic furniture can easily be incorporated in a new or an existing setup. It includes a desk with adjustable height, active stools and chairs, ball chairs, perch stools to allow free movement while sitting and provide comfortable posture as well. It protects us from the ills of a sedentary lifestyle and no wonder it is such a hit with the millennials. At Grabhouse, we experimented with different types of furniture like bean bags, couches, adjustable chairs and tables to ensure an active lifestyle.
Collaborative Meeting Areas
The office must have a collaborative workspace to promote team spirit and free sharing of ideas. This collaborative setup can be easily incorporated in the office in an unused or rarely used area. The idea is to keep the space informal and easily accessible to have quick meetings and discussions. It is a simple way to achieve a chic and inspiring workspace without burning a hole in the pocket. An open area or unused area with comfortable furniture, color coordination will do the trick. For one of our clients, Co-work, we created a collaborative meeting area with comfortable seats, modish lightings and inspiring quotes. This was to be used for casual and formal discussions.
Blending Fun and Business
Millennials are considered the most- stressed out generation ever. Stress hampers their productivity and increases the attrition rate. To calm their nerves and keep them happy, it is important to combine work with leisure without compromising on productivity. Some of the most successful companies have clubbed together ill-matched activities such as rocket science and beach volleyball. Their effort has paid off in the long run.
We do not suggest going extreme with the playful workspace idea but just some desk clumps, a foosball table or a pool table will go a long way in doing the job. Let your employees know that you trust them to make the right decisions and that it is okay to work and unwind. This will make for a for a happier and healthier workplace. Check out how a relaxing chair can do the trick at ITW.
Millennials take environmental concerns seriously. They are vocal about their preference for environmentally-sound business practices. From the designing point of view, it is quite easy to incorporate environment-friendly elements in the design scheme of a workplace. Switching to eco-friendly lighting, building materials, paints and products is easy. Additionally, encouraging practices like carpooling or cycling is great too. We incorporated this concept at ShopX, where we placed potted plants in the room and designed it to ensure ample natural light.
Bringing nature inside the workspace by opting for indoor plants to improve air quality, switching to large French windows to attract more sunlight and including vertical gardens indoors and outdoors will also do the trick. The Biophilic designing concept has been widely accepted by the youth and organizations alike. Back here in Bengaluru, that’s how we have incorporated the concept at Furlenco.
Quirky and Unconventional
Every worker has a different working style but generally, one can be either categorized as an introvert or an extrovert. While extroverts thrive in wall-less, collaborative workstation, introverts look for quiet and aloof space. To accommodate people of different personality types, incorporate different types of workstations. You can easily achieve it by tastefully arranging quirky furniture, bright colors, asymmetrical patterns, bold illustrations, bean bags, couches, board games in some corners while keeping the other areas subtler and more formal. This unique mix will certainly grab the eyeballs of every employee that walks into your company. We have implemented the concept for one of our clients: Wisden. You can see the use of bright colours, chic furniture, geometrical patterns and the use of interesting lighting.
Infusing office design with technology is a sure-shot way to attract and retain the interest of the younger workforce. Nothing can beat the charm of hi-speed internet connection, hi-tech mobile devices, LEDs, use of augmented and virtual reality and the Internet of Things (IoT). Integrating technology with the office design will certainly help in attracting the millennials and Gen Z like it does for our client Mitra-Biotech. The use of giant LED’s in one area and the modern computer systems in another area have struck a chord with the employees.
Office Inclusion and Accessibility Improvements
Millennials admire inclusion of all communities and people with different abilities. Therefore, creative designing companies today are testing ways to improve accessibility for different individual needs. One-desk-fits-all is a passé, today the workplace is getting more customizable. Adjustable height desk, adaptive chairs, assistive devices like self-driving wheelchairs have all made the inclusion of different people possible. Even the restroom is turning unisex so that all the genders including transgenders feel at ease. By using simple and adjustable chairs and furniture, we have made the ShopX office more accessible for people with different needs:
These small initiatives show that you care. When you care, the feelings get reciprocated by your employees and the productivity gets a boost. So, get ready to innovate and upgrade your workplace to welcome the future generation. If you love the ideas but wondering how to go about it? Then just reach out to us and we will help you create your dream workspace.