Is Millennial Office Design a Thing?

Yes, it is! And to understand exactly what Millennial design looks like, we need to first understand the characteristics and motivations of the Millennial generation.

They are the first generation to have grown up with the internet as a part of their lives from birth – Millennials have never known a world without mobile phones and the ability to access information instantly at any time of the day or night.


So how do these characteristics translate into workplace design?


As a group, Millennials are ambitious, creative, and technically savvy. They are looking for a meaningful career and not just a paycheck, and they’re far more willing than previous generations to jump ship to another company if they’re not happy at work. In fact, Millennials rate work-life balance as the most important factor when it comes to assessing job opportunities.

So how do these characteristics translate into workplace design?

Collaborative workspaces – Millennials need less privacy at the office than previous generations and often work well in a collaborative environment.

Flexible work zones – rather than separating workspaces by seniority or even department, workers want a variety of different places to work to suit different tasks and personality types.

Smaller offices – technology is shrinking and no longer requires so much space at each workstation. Companies are also embracing flexible working practices, which means they may not need space for all employees to work from the office every day.

Modular systems – this includes flexible office layouts that can be adjusted and moved around to create larger or smaller offices as needed.


Mixed use common areas – employees are no longer expected to be chained to their desks 9 – 5 and employers have recognized that a traditional workstation or meeting room is not the best place for collaboration and creativity. Break and social areas can double-up as less formal workspaces to inspire conversation and creative thinking in a more relaxed environment.

Semi-open design – completely open-plan offices don’t necessarily translate into the most productive work environment for everyone. Instead, companies need to provide a mixture of collaborative open environments and quiet spaces for distraction-free work that requires concentration. 


So, what are the main advantages of this type of millennial workspace?

  1. Smaller Offices Translates into Lower Rents

    As workstations and technology are shrinking, and multi-use common areas are growing, today’s businesses can work well in an office space with a much smaller square footage than what would have been previously recommended.

  2. More Flexibility for Today’s Rapidly Changing Environment

    A successful business will grow in team size, as well as revenue. A more flexible approach to office design means you won’t necessarily have to move on when you outgrow your office. And flexibility also means that the office space can be rearranged to suit the needs of employees and projects as they change over time.

  3. A Better Work-Life Balance

    Taking into account employees’ emotional, mental, and physical needs, as well as simply providing them with a work-friendly environment, benefits everyone. Workspaces with adequate areas for resting, socializing and collaborating help improve all aspects of employee health. Happier and healthier employees are not only more productive and take fewer sick days, but they’re also more likely to stay and work for a company that considers all their needs.