Millennials are Redesigning Workspaces

Young employees in a quirky office setup

The economy is pushing companies to choose makeovers over moving. And millennials are greatly influencing these makeovers. They are working in cool new ways and they are the new talent that big companies are hoping to attract.

Here are just a couple of the more noteworthy makeovers.

Ford’s Big Tech Makeover

As more millennials enter American workspaces, companies are updating their offices to suit their needs and tastes. This is partly due to increasingly younger company decision-makers, and partly to attract new young talent.

Perhaps one extreme is Ford’s proposed makeover. In competing for talent with other big technology companies, the 103-year-old auto manufacturer last year revealed plans to restyle its sprawling Michigan headquarters into two Silicon Valley-like campuses; complete with paths and trails for e-bikes, shuttles, and autonomous vehicles.

Dropbox’s Industrial Café

At the other end of the makeover scale is online hosting provider Dropbox’s new workspace café. The alternative workspace features playful furnishings that combine warm antique street lamps and cool industrial-themed furniture.

Urban95, an online source for furniture, adds that while industrial design focuses on unique pieces, it should still be comfortable and ergonomic. Dropbox certainly achieved this goal with its cool yet comfortable furniture. It’s also Dropbox’s way of keeping employees from leaving the office; workers use this inspiring space to work alone or gather for brainstorms, while having coffee, of course.

Cheap and Chic

Outside these established businesses, cost would be a big issue. For a cheaper way to redo your office, consult your younger employees. They’ll tell you to think beyond the cubicle setup, and consider instead a collaborative space.

Long tables and benches are a standard these days as a space for employees to sit and work together. With the main workspace in the middle, you can then spruce up the surroundings with interesting found objects and potted greens. Perhaps a rustic truss shelf for books or an industrial stool for a side table beside the couch.

The idea is to get found objects and repurpose them. These pieces are easily moved and replaced when you find a new, more interesting item. It can even be a shared office project among your employees.

There are makeovers that are driven by visionary corporations, like Ford and there are those created by newer, younger businesses, like Dropbox. There will also be those designed by the employees themselves, for the employees. But mostly, they’ll be driven by the millennials.