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Change happens, change turns things around. This can be seen in our personal as well as our professional lives. The older generation – baby boomers and Generation X – have a very different outlook and work culture compared to the millennials – this is evident even in the design of the workspace.
Workplace must synchronize with work styles
The older generation came to work and adapted to the physical workplace, the millennials want the workplace to be adapted to synchronize with their work styles and workspace requirements.
Given the sheer magnitude of millennials joining the workspace and looking at their contribution to the organization, it therefore becomes essential that we cater to their demands at the workplace. Designers and developers are thus abandoning older office designs and models and indulging the youth brigade with open, collaborative work-stations.
Places where they can chill out or just rest
Millennials do not want a traditional, formal, forbidding office environment – they want something more casual, more friendly, more inspiring and energizing so that they can do their best work and bring all things worthwhile to the table. They desire places where they can chill out or just rest in between working on that deadline or putting together a proposal or report.
There are, as a result, new offices which are provided with gyms, rooms for games, music, painting etc., sleep-pods, massage rooms etc. There are canteens, cafes, restaurants, dining areas, lounges to pamper their involvement with food – there are offices that give 3 meals a day as part of office perks. The tea and coffee stall on the road is being replaced by coffee / tea bars and vending machines within the offices which serve a dual purpose – they double up as areas for informal work-related discussions and also help employees form bonds of friendship and camaraderie. These little hubs offer both relaxation and inspiration as employees share ideas and help each other when needed.
Demand for offices to be “rustic” in nature
In the West, there is an increased demand for offices to be “rustic” in nature – as a result, old warehouses, commercial buildings, broken down houses etc. are being converted into offices. As per demands of the millennials, these have large, open spaces to inculcate a collaborative and open floor plan.
The new generation believes in open communication, in cooperation and sharing of work, in working together as a team and this has given rise to partition-less offices, common work areas / joint work stations; cabins and individual rooms are being done away with.
There are also provisions for small private rooms for meetings or for those who prefer to work in quiet, private surroundings. However they still remain connected with one another. Channels of communication are always open.
Growing trend of crèches and baby-care facilities
There is also a growing trend of crèches and baby-care facilities in organizations to allow employees (especially the women) to bring their children to work and have them looked after by trained care givers – this eases family pressure on them and helps them concentrate on work.
Given the emphasis on employee wellbeing and happiness there is even a movement towards bringing pets to office, usually dogs but the day is not far away when employees will be considering the possibility of bringing their pet turtle or parakeet to work.
Whatever it takes to keep millennials happy and motivated is what is in vogue in workplaces around the globe – after all, it is employee delight that leads to success and profits for everyone.