“Space: the final frontier.” You may remember these words used at the end of the Star Trek film series. While that expression served well to summarize the great adventures of the starship Enterprise and its intrepid crew, it may also have some application to business today. Space, office space that is, now offers new challenges for business leaders. While it is not the “final frontier,” office space faces a new frontier due to changing worker demographics. Today, workers are living longer and retiring later, so businesses now find five generations attempting to coexist (plus find harmony and effectiveness) in the same office environment.
The Challenge of Designing Office Space for Five Generations of Workers
The five generations are traditionalists, baby boomers, Generation X, Millennials (Gen Y), and iGen (Gen Z). Each of these generations has its own life stage elements, communications styles, priorities and expectations for an accommodating working space. So, businesses today must build a new approach to facilitate collaboration and communication for all their workers.
Today’s office space design is not as simple as providing private offices for boomers and open office space for millennials, along with couches and standing desks. Space planning does necessitate understanding the needs of all workers in order to make them feel valued, comfortable and productive. The key is to develop a design plan without selecting only one approach to office space, but rather to consider the needs of “clusters” of employees who may have the same needs.
Key Office Space Design Trends
Effective space design is a key factor in attracting and retaining top talent:
- Flexible and future-focused, in order to adapt to changing project, company and employee needs.
- Blended design, allowing some privacy and focus while enhancing social and collaborative aspects.
- Designing spaces for the health and well-being of employees, including the facilitation of movement versus constant sitting.
- Appealing environments that allow fun and enjoyable activities as well as design that offers features to lift and inspire employees.
- Integrating of technology is key to an “all-wired, online all the time” kind of business world.
Seek Commercial Construction You Can Count On
Contact Carolina Services, based in Charleston, SC, a full-service construction company offering expert commercial construction, maintenance and repair, and effective office space planning. Build a better business with Carolina Services.