How to Bring Your Office Inline with the Next Generation of Employees
Office design trends vary from business to business but the general consensus is, the younger millennial workforce coming through the ranks demands are greater amount of flexibility and adaptability in the workplace.
Having been born into a world where connectivity and technology is commonplace, it’s no wonder they expect a different working environment to past generations. So if your office is still stuck in the twentieth century, you may want to consider freshening things up to get the very best pout of your employees, especially those who have recently graduated or entered into working life.
Every employer wants to ensure they have have a productive workforce that shows a positive attitude to being at work. Essentially, that comes down to the atmosphere and environment you create, so the design and layout of your workspace plays a huge part in this process.
Being comfortable at work plays a massive role in staff productivity, especially the millennial generation, so think about introducing ergonomic furniture throughout the workplace, such as height adjustable tables and chairs to promote good posture. Not only will this show your staff that you care about their wellbeing, it will also reduce the real possibility of your staff developing musculoskeletal pain and other health ailments which will lead to absences from work.
Also consider how much natural light and fresh air is circulating around your office. A stale and dingy office will only promote negativity and will hugely weigh down on your team, making them less likely to want to work harder or more effectively. Good air quality can be promoted through central air systems, as well as introducing plants and of course, by opening windows in less polluted locations.
If natural light is not accessible, think about ways to change your lighting systems to those that reduce eye strain, glare and tiredness.
Nature can easily be integrated into the workplace and there are now far more interesting ways to bring the outdoors in.
With the current generation of workers being more environmentally conscious than before, many businesses are embracing the living wall phenomenon. A living wall adds a striking feature to your interior spaces and has many added benefits. In larger more polluted inner cities, these walls help to significantly reduce pollutants in the air and filter our harmful toxins, making the air far more breathable and healthier.
Millennials are also highly conscious of using sustainable, ethical products. So think about changing some of the brands you use for simple items such as paper and stationary from suppliers who sell and promote environmentally conscious products.
In an ever more connected world, it’s no surprise that the younger generation of workers enjoy collaborative projects and are keen to converse in discussion whilst at work.
Old fashioned cubicles and workspaces are a young employees worst nightmare, so if you are still promoting the use of cubicles or solid partitions, you will do yourself no harm by taking them away to help your staff get out of their boxes and work together.
By fostering collaboration and a more open environment, you build better inter-team relations and encourage your staff to help and support each other better, thus improving productivity and staff morale. The majority of millennials have been encouraged to brainstorm and problem solve in groups during their time in education, so bring that mantra into your workplace.
We’re only human so there will be times that we need some quiet time away from the hustle and bustle of a busy office space. Workers young and old enjoy having a dedicated private space to unwind, get some time to focus on a task or just to get a bite to eat away from their desk.
You don’t need a large space to achieve this so most offices should have sufficient room to allow for a small room closed off from the main production areas. If space is at a premium, moveable glass partitions are a great way to create temporary private spaces for meetings, discussions and work that requires privacy.
Modern businesses demand that our staff are more adaptable and flexible than ever. And so it’s only natural to expect your workplace to do the same!
Try introducing furniture pieces that are multifunctional and modular. Chairs, tables and benches that are designed with flexibility in mind will allow your staff to create spaces that are suited to differing needs on any given day, giving them greater autonomy on how the office looks and feels. Their responses will always be positive as the office will change and evolve as required for each and every situation.
Technology is around us in every situation, whether at the home or office. The most recent generations have had technology at their fingertips from day one, so will expect and appreciate a business that embraces and harnesses the power fo technology.
Where previous generations were used to the old fashioned fixed desk, monitor and PC, younger workers are used to doing everything on laptops and tablets. This allows them to carry on with their work on the go, and means you get greater productivity and flexibility out of your staff by giving them the tools they are used to using.
Designing a work place for the next generation is not as hard or as daunting as it seems. By understanding their needs and habits, you’ll soon discover exactly what will foster a positive attitude towards your business and get the very best out of them. Try talking to your younger members of staff and ask them questions about how they feel at work. They will happily converse with you about the ways they like to work and you’ll then be able to maximise production and get a great return on your investment.