Today’s workplace environment increasingly reflects the interests of millennials as shown by the recent growth of flexible workspace providers – and with good reason, by 2025 three out of four office workers are projected to be born during the period that defines millennials.

Guy Crabb ODB

This new generation of office workers has a very different view of where they want to work from their predecessors.  Gone are the rows of desks crammed together side by side in a dingy office environment as millennials look for workspace that reflects their priorities as workers – flexibility, technology and health. 

Some studies predict that maybe 60% of the jobs to be performed by the next generation, do not yet exist and employers are becoming increasingly aware that in order to attract the best their industry has to offer, they need to design their workspace not only to keep pace with change but in order to keep the people they need.  

Here are some of the key office design trends that are increasingly being picked up by businesses to reflect the requirements of their young teams.

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For today’s health conscious millennials, an attractive and healthy workplace environment is a top priority. Alongside gym facilities and outdoor space to sit and work, other features that are popular include:

  • Office design space that maximises natural light: there is increasing cause to keep the space open plan and avoid meeting rooms that eat up all the natural light
  • Bringing the outside in: we are happiest when we are out of doors and today’s millennials do feel happier in a greener environment - today’s employers are increasingly aware of this link and as designers, we are often asked to include features like natural living walls to create a sense of natural environment within the office.
  • Sustainability credentials:  millennials want businesses to focus more on people, products, and purpose—and less on profits. Designing your office with your staff front of mind and ensuring that you consider environmental and social impact as part of your design criteria can demonstrate your commitment to employees and corporate social responsibility values.  

Designing your office space not only to look less corporate but so that it also incorporates technology seamlessly in a way that will appeal to today’s millennials is increasingly important. This generation thinks very differently from Generation X and their predecessors about the places in which they want to work because of societal influences and accelerating technological advances.

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Today’s office workers increasingly expect flexible working because technology is making it easy to ditch the desk.  In fact the desk is becoming something of a commodity in relation to the plethora of furniture products designed specifically to enable different styles of “mobile working”.  

As today’s workplace environment increasingly blurs the lines between office and home, office design reflects this mindset. We expect the trend to continue as people work more flexibly and are not bound by the traditional 9-5 work ethic. 

Guy Crabb, managing director, ODB Group