The traditional workplace is easily recognisable by its many small offices, a few large conference rooms, and a little break room that employees hope is stocked with a working refrigerator and microwave. But as the Millennial generation enters the workforce, workspaces are changing. Today’s young workers no longer want to be in an office all day, even if it is a corner office with a great view. Instead, they’re looking for open spaces, communal work areas, and flexible offices where they’re not tied to a desk. Here are a few ways offices are changing and what employers can do to meet these needs.
While older or more traditional employees want their own office, younger employees or those open to new ideas may want to share a space. Instead of divided cubicles, office areas are open. You may see a circle of sofas or one large table surrounded by comfortable chairs. The idea is that anyone can drop in and work there, sharing their ideas and collaborating on projects without the need to reserve a conference room or crowd into someone’s office. These spaces don’t necessarily afford privacy, but they do often lead to more innovative solutions as team members share ideas.
Cutting the Phone Cord
When a new employee walks into his or her office, the traditional desk usually features two things: a computer and a phone. With shared spaces replacing the private office, voice-over IP is replacing the phone. Using this new type of Internet phone service, employees can take calls on their laptops or tablets, plus they can forward calls to their personal cell phone without giving out their private number. Now employees can answer calls from anywhere, eliminating phone tag and lost voice messages.
Comfort Over Function
Office chairs, whether they’re in waiting rooms or in an employee’s office, aren’t always the most comfortable or colourful. But with shared spaces, that’s changing. Millennials like to be comfortable, and this desire is affecting the office décor as well as the dress code. Sofas and overstuffed chairs covered in brightly coloured fabrics have become common in some businesses. Some of this furniture and other decorative elements are very non-traditional and give the area a unique abstract look that is more appealing than the stark, uniform look of the past.
Many employers don’t know where to start when it comes to creating this unique look. Fortunately, there are a number of different interior designers and office outfitters who can help. For example, Saracen Interiors provide complete office fitout solutions designed to meet your needs and style. If you’re not sure what that style is, you can get ideas from your employees. Many businesses have let employees do the decorating. This not only creates a unique space they find comfortable but also gives them a feeling of ownership of that space.
Finally, some workspaces may disband completely as more and more employees move to telecommuting. While working from home isn’t an option for everyone, those who can do so may find that working outside the office actually makes them more productive. The flexible work situation provides those with young children or other issues the ability to continue working without worrying about going to the office every day.