Employers create homey workplaces to attract and please millennials
- Quartz reports that more employers are opting for office design that mimics home environments to attract millennials. Designers and architects are designing office areas that mimic the warm, comfortable look and feel of home and all its amenities.
- Employers following the trend are betting that open layouts, shower areas, bike racks and breakout sessions will make the workplace seem like home to millennials. Some workplaces are providing college campus-type amenities such as gyms, coffee shops and built-in bars. The goal is to get employees to want to spend more time with colleagues in a home-like atmosphere.
- According to Quartz, the trend in office decor and layout might contradict the work-at-home trend, which continues to gain traction as more workers seek work-life balance.
The trend in office decor and design has gone from open layouts, like General Electric's "office-free" complex in Cincinnati, to more comfortable, home-like spaces.
While attractive workspaces might make employees feel happier and more productive, many people are finding working at home more attractive than an area resembling their living room. The rise in remote workers during the past few decades could be a testament to that viewpoint.
Employers have to consider whether blurring the lines between work and home through design or any other means is an effective way to attract and retain workers or keep them productive. For some employees, the warm, comfortable atmosphere of home might be too relaxing at work. Others might find the change in venue between work and home refreshing.
Employers must avoid the "one size fits all" approach to office design. The wall-less, more collaborative office design isn't suitable for all workers. A Hacker Noon survey shows that 59% of workers said they need a quiet, partitioned work area to problem-solve and think creatively. And some Apple employees threatened to leave the company after finding out that their new workspaces would be the open-air type.
Surveying employees about the type of office design and layout they prefer might be worth doing before investing money in renovations.