Created on: 14th November 2016
There’s no doubt that the way we work has changed significantly in the past 20 years, and workspaces are doing their best to catch up.
There’s no doubt that the way we work has changed significantly in the past 20 years, and workspaces are doing their best to catch up. As you might expect, the millennial generation has different expectations to previous generations of workers about office environments.
Research by CBRE in Australia and the wider Asia Pacific region has found that wellness facilities are a big draw for this generation when considering where to work - a trend worth bearing in mind if you’re carrying out any office refurbishments.
In Australia, younger workers look for amenities like green space, relaxation or wellness facilities and games rooms, and revealed that companies that offer these kinds of things in their offices and buildings are more attractive to work for.
Millennials down under also value work relationships, with over 74% of those surveyed stating that these, as well as office design, are important.
Elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region, the picture is similar, with 71% of those questioned stating they would be prepared to give up other benefits to enjoy a better office environment. Again, providing wellness and rest areas was considered to be important, and was where workers felt organisations could do more.
There has been a slew of similar research recently, with a survey by Office Genie last month revealing that good workplace design can improve employee happiness levels by 33%.
Haworth, an office furniture design company, has long cited the wellness benefits of good office design and presented research to support this assertion at the Orgatec trade fair for office and property equipment and facilities.
According to FM World Magazine, Haworth’s research showed that office design can improve employee happiness in two ways: by helping them focus on their work and by making them feel as though their employer values them.
Vice-president of Haworth Europe Henning Figg explained that carefully considering every aspect of an office interior, from its acoustics and lighting to furnishings and the integration of technology can “transform surroundings from a beautiful and memorable space into a destination where people want to go because it makes them feel good or be more productive. A place for work.”
Haworth advocates a space-centric approach to office design, which puts people at the heart of the design process.
It has put together some advice for those designing new spaces or office refurbishment. One of the organisation’s top tips is to make the floorplan easy to understand, making it simple for people to find one another. It’s also important to make sure the purpose of a space is clearly defined, so whether it’s a place for working or socialising, for instance.
Investing in adjustable furnishings is another key piece of advice, with the company explaining that it has found fitting adjustable furnishings - including height adjustable work surfaces and seating - reduced the risk of ill health preventing people from working.
Haworth’s other tip is to create great meeting spaces, stressing the need to provide different spaces for different kinds of work and meetings. It recommends having an informal area that can be utilised for more casual work, as well as meeting rooms that can accommodate people comfortably, in terms of the space allocated as well as using adjustable furnishing in these areas.
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