It is 2017 and “Millennials,” people born between 1980 and 2000, are making their way into offices all over the world. Most have grown up with constant use of electronics to help complete their everyday tasks. The reliance on these newer electronics makes millennials more minimalistic than previous generations, in the fact that most can do their job with only a laptop and a cellphone.
While colleges are investing in making their floor plans open, adding flexible work environments and allowing online classes, the workplace is slow in adapting to this new way of working. This means, millennials are learning to work in one environment, that is most efficient for them and then being forced back into the old environment, when they enter the workplace.
Now I am not saying you have to rip out your old cubicles and replace them with couches, bean bags and a trash table (a table in most college apartments usually occupied by at least two emptyish pizza boxes), but there are steps that can be made to prepare your workplace. Many office furniture companies have even addressed these with their new products.
A combination of the strategies below can make your office a much more productive place to work.
Most offices have one or two large conference rooms that are almost always occupied by just a few people. How do you fix this? More smaller meeting spaces that can be used by just a few employees to meet about a project instead of taking up a whole conference room. This allows your employees to all have private places to meet so that they can concentrate and get their work done.
Companies like Steelcase have created modular options than being simply put into your office in a single day. Some of these even have technology hooked up to them that allows you to look on your computer to see if the room is being used.
Yay cubicles! Although some places have gone a little too far and made their offices completely open, these are still needed as touchdown spaces your employees can go to get away from the distractions that an open office can bring. The newer cubicles all have options for a small amount of color and technology that makes these work for millennials. If space is an issue, you can combine multiple people into spaces that used to be taken up by one because of the decrease in computer size, fewer file cabinets and less to store.
Flexible workspaces, like the image to the right, make work a more fun and engaging environment. Employees are no longer tucked away waiting for the next meeting, or lunch break, to communicate with co-workers. These usually come with or without dividers in-between each employee and some have the option of having the dividers attachable