See how Millennials’ expectations will affect the workplace — from layout to technology to collaboration

by Brianna Crandall — May 22, 2017 — U.K.-based building services and engineering consultancy BSRIA has launched its Workplaces of the Future publication, written by workplace intern Ashleigh Bunker. This insightful report contemplates the office needs and desires from the perspective of the youth of today, also known as Generation Y or Millennials (born 1980 – 2000) and Generation Z (born after 2000).

The report considers how the advancement of digital technologies is changing the way we work. Collaboration technologies are ushering a next-generation workplace that is more productive, efficient and delivers meaningful cost savings to organizations of all sizes across the globe.

According to the report, the office of the future may not even need to be a workplace in the accepted sense of the word. With new and more advanced mobile devices, giving employees the freedom to work from anywhere, these technologies will continue to reshape the look and feel of the “office.”

BSRIA has the corporate vision of “making buildings better,” but with the changing workplace what form will the office of the future take, what will be the expectation of the occupiers, and what will be the impact for designers, developers and those managing the workplace environment?

The author researched:

  • How the workplace environment will affect the career choices of different generations.
  • How the needs of the different generations will need to be met in the transitioning years.
  • The benefits of providing a new workplace environment that meets the expectations of the Millennial generation and beyond.

The report also looks at: the history of office layouts; offices of today; the next 10 years; and next steps.

Some key findings:

  • Technology has also affected what Millennials are like as employees. Generally, they want instant results, making them more action oriented. Where the previous ideology is more “eventually you get your dues,” Millennials want to work hard quickly and see results as equally as fast. This passion for instant results may make them seem impatient to older generations, but businesses will have to accommodate such characteristics.
  • When Generation Z walks into the office, they want to feel pride in their workplace not only for the design but also for the flexibility it will allow them. With the flexibility to work from anywhere, one will be working in a virtual world with colleagues in other countries and still be a in a functioning business. However, a problem on the horizon is that the future offices could be too laid back; some current co-working environments are even offering beer for their employees on week days!
  • Research shows that Millennials don’t want to work for just any company, they would prefer to earn less and work for a company with strong passions and morals.
  • Make the office “look good;” if there is not an inspiring environment the workers will not have pride in their workplace nor will they feel inspired to work.

Workplaces of the Future is available for free download from BSRIA. The work was carried out as part of BSRIA’s INSPIRE project, which works with local schools, national and local politicians and the media to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and change its perceptions.