How Millenials are Changing the Workplace

Author: Erica Feher | February 18, 2014

Who are these Millennials dramatically changing the traditional workplace? And, how is it possible for the traditional office setting to change so drastically between two generations?

At the Real Estate & Law (REAL) Symposium at Stanford University, a group of REAL professionals discussed the ever-changing workplace and the traits of the Millennial generation, who make up the fastest growing segment of the workforce. One of the main factors driving change in the workplace is more Millennials entering the workforce who are seeking a collaborative approach. Millennials bring very different traits than their predecessor generation – they embrace urbanism, thrive on being socially connected, have a 24/7 live/work/play mentality, and even marry and have children later than the generation before.

With that said, what does the office need to look like in order to keep this generation satisfied? A few considerations the panel mentioned include:

  • Interactive, encouraging layouts / collaborative areas – These are spots where you might be having a meeting and other employees are passing through and providing their unsolicited feedback – the real definition of collaborative.
  • Social, relaxation, solitude – While they thrive on being collaborative, they also need space to work alone from time to time.
  • Natural light – Light is necessary for creative thinking.
  • Open space and volume – People think better with more space surrounding them and even higher ceilings.
  • Appealing visual content – This might be unusual art, furniture or just the overall design of the space.

To truly develop a workspace that will be attractive to the Mllennial workforce, the process needs to be given significant consideration and planning with the understanding that it is a major endeavor. Throwing a piece of art on the wall and putting two desks together does not suffice.

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