As recently as a decade ago, when you designed a new office, you did not need to break away from the norm too much. If you put acoustical boards and a hundred fluorescent tubes above a space, painted the walls white, and set up thirty or forty cubicles flanked by smaller offices with glass doors, you couldn’t have done much more that would deviate from what was expected of a modern workplace.
New generation ushers in new office styles
Now, although the majority of office buildings still use mostly the same design with a few unique touches here and there, the biggest generation of workers is slowly but surely ensuring that the modern office will change.
Designing a new office is not exactly an easy and quick task. The people behind it — engineers, architects, interior designers, among others — have to look forward a few years. This is because when you construct a new office building, it takes years to finish it. What is modern and state of the art today, when you finish the blueprints and sketches, might not be so hot tomorrow. So you can see the need to be able to look into what the new generation of workers wants.
The modern office today
Due to the millennials’ desire to combine their work with everything else in their lives, such as having fun and sharing it with friends, the office styles of today are changing. Now the office you build is what’s more likely to be in tune with the modern worker’s idea of being connected without being burdened by wires, a desk, or even an ergonomic office chair.
Where you used to only need a design portfolio to choose what you need, now you need custom steel fabrication in Indianapolis, you need to fit a slide in there, maybe even a boat or a floating pod.
Creativity has always been the cornerstone of design, but today the creativity used for office design seems to have no boundaries. It’s creativity based on playfulness.
Collaboration and concentration
The restrictiveness of cubicles is eschewed today in favor of a more collaborative, open design. Yet when one needs to be on one’s own to think and concentrate, there are escape pods, refuge chairs, even Zen gardens and relaxation ponds.
There is one common denominator, though: wireless connectivity — this is the mark of the modern generation that lives and dies by the power of wireless, by the connection provided by the Internet of Things, by the growing influence of smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
When you build that new office, think modern, think creative. But don’t stop there. Play around a little. Your young, driven, and imaginative employees will love you more for it.