The world of office room interior design is one that is constantly shifting and morphing according to the people who inhibit it. At its heart, interior design for commercial spaces aims to boost employee productivity and wellbeing. As such, it has undergone several reiterations as different generations of people have entered the workforce.
The latest generation is that of millennials, who are people born between the years of 1981 to 1996. Given that the current year is 2020, the oldest millennial would be 39 while the youngest being 24. In other words, most if not all millennials would now be in the workforce, occupying the junior and senior executive positions within organizations.
How Millennials’ Values are Affecting Workplaces
Millennials entered the workforce during a time of rapid advancements in technology and the emergence of VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity & Ambiguity) environments. Consequently, they have grown to appreciate flexibility, adaptability and diversity.
Rather than working in silos, hammering away at a problem for long hours, they instead look for unconventional solutions. These often emerge from diverse team discussions and creative ideation sessions. As such, workspaces are continuously innovating to cater to team discussion, ideation and problem solving.
In order to facilitate productivity gains from teamwork, smart tools and dedicated spaces are popping up in large offices. These spaces are designed to encourage discussion and assist the teams to solve problems.
Another aspect that millennials clearly differ from their seniors, lies in how they view their workplace. No longer is the office a place for them spend from 9am to 6pm, before rushing out as soon as possible. Rather, they now view the place as an extension of their lifestyle with them spending increasing amounts of time in.
A work environment that fits in with an individual’s personal aesthetic preferences could lend the company the edge in recruitment of talent. As such, many companies are investing large amounts of resources into data collection of their employee behavior and design for productivity gains.
With new research into the impact that workplaces have on the wellbeing of employees, health has now come under the microscope. Many employees have made strategic decisions to change workplaces due to their fears that their health were being compromised. Moreover, research has also proven that a healthy workforce is much more productive.
Employees are increasingly requesting for features that help them to destress, improve their posture and reduce both mental and physical strain. These features range from small installations at their desks to bigger central features within the office.
Ideas for Millennial Friendly Workspaces
Now that we have covered how millennials view their workspaces and the differences in their wants, we can now illustrate how to create millennial friendly office spaces.
Designing for Wellness – Biophilic Design
Greenery is being increasingly incorporated into workplaces via biophilic design. Under biophilic design, people’s exposure and connectivity to the natural environment is maximized. This is achieved through the creation of access to natural elements as well as the installation of such features within the office.
For starters, you can incorporate full length windows that allow natural sunlight to flood into your space. Not only do full length windows provide your employees with their fair share of vitamin D, but also gives them a full view of the outside world. This allows them to give their eyes a quick break and to momentarily escape the stress of the office. We recommend pairing such windows with blinds in order to filter strong direct sunlight.
Green installations are also becoming commonplace within offices. This ranges from little desk features such as potted plants to large green walls that can be placed at the center of office spaces. For larger office spaces, it is possible to install roof top gardens or indoor zen gardens that offer respite to employees. These spaces encourage employees to get up from their desk and to enjoy a break within such natural surroundings.
Interior designers have also used their knowledge of basic design principles to incorporate more dynamic shaped spaces. Psychologically, this has an impact on your employees’ subconsciousness, encouraging them to take their breaks away from their desks. Research has shown that this helps to stretch their muscles and thus relieve any accumulated fatigue or strain that their neck and back muscles may have gotten.
Designing for Teamwork and Communication
Spaces need to be designed for and equipped to facilitate the increase in teamwork between team members as well as for cross-division work. This includes having larger dynamic spaces, smart technologies and team orientated features.
Many offices now contain large dynamic meeting spaces instead of traditional board meeting rooms. These spaces allow for quick rearrange of furniture and a variety of workstations. As such, users can quickly ideate together on a project based on the most desirable form of communication.
This might range from whiteboards to projectors, from white chart papers to smart TVs. Regardless, furniture should be lightweight while the infrastructure is versatile in order to accommodate your team’s needs. An example would be that of height adjustable tables that can double up as a discussion desk as well as a coffee table.
Combining Home & the Office
Known in the industry as co-living, many companies have now introduce homely elements into the office. Gone are the days of rows of formal cubicles set against strong solid colors that emphasized formality. Instead, they have been replaced by bright open spaces filled with all sorts of different furniture and furnishings. Be it artificial grass mats or private hanging pods, personality driven workspaces are here to stay.
It is in these personality driven workspaces that millennials are thriving, having their pick of work zones for any particular task they may have on hand. Examples include:
- Say they have a complex task that requires periodical input from cross division employees, then then inhouse café offers an excellent spot to get advice without disturbing others or booking a large space.
- Have they fatigued out after a long meeting and are in need of a soothing space to unwind while doing up the minutes? If so, the grass mat placed in front of the full length windows would offer them a calm environment while helping them to destress.
The point is, office spaces have morphed to include many comfort picks for employees as these help to maintain their peak productivity in the long run.
Rely on Visual ID’s Expertise
Visual ID is an interior design consultant firm in Singapore, specializing in interior design for commercial. If you want to revamp your office to make it look more professional but you have no idea where to start, we are here to help!
Contact us to find out more about how you can make your office a vibrant workplace for everyone. A lively workplace will definitely contribute to your business’s growth.