Creating Workspaces for the Next Generation

The workplace is changing at a rapid rate, as new generations bring their own ideas about productivity, collaboration, and work flow. As a result of this, company cultures are changing; businesses are adapting their daily rhythms; and even physical workspaces are changing right before our eyes.

That’s something that many of our clients are thinking long and hard about. When they engage Kuester CRE as their commercial real estate development partner, they’re trusting us to help them turn physical spaces into productive places—and part of that means considering the needs and preferences of younger workers.

Start with Flexibility

But what does this look like in practice?

One of the watchwords for designing workspaces for younger generations is flexibility. Younger workers tend to put in long hours, and they like having the ability to set up their various projects in different places around the office. So, the traditional cubicle layout—which can be very restrictive—is out.

Rather than forcing employees to sit in small, designated areas, more and more companies are creating large, open workspaces. These open areas are prime for collaboration and informal meetings.

A good question to ask as you design a work area: What happens if an employee needs a change of scenery and wishes to take their laptop and work elsewhere in the office? Or to get together with a colleague to work on a project? Where could they go?

Consider Health and Wellness

If younger workers increasingly desire flexibility, they also want a workplace that allows them to prioritize their personal health.

No, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to install a gymnasium in your office, or to equip everyone with a treadmill desk. One thing you can do, however, is ensure that there is plenty of natural light, a key component in employee health and morale.

As you design the areas where your employees will do their work, as well as conference rooms and break areas, try to incorporate as much natural light as possible.

Facilitate Collaboration

We’ve touched on this a bit, but it’s important to stress the high level at which younger employees value collaboration. Today’s corporate cultures tend to promote teamwork, but that doesn’t mean anything if there isn’t sufficient space for teams to actually gather.

As you design a workspace, be sure to consider the needs of working together, and provide areas open enough for people to gather, but closed-off enough that these meetings won’t be disruptive to others.

These principles are just the beginning, and it’s important to stress that a good workplace design can vary depending on the company’s needs. That’s why it’s wise to work with a commercial real estate development partner that can help you develop the right space for you.

Learn more by reaching out to the Kuester CRE team today! You can call us at our toll-free number today: 855-723-2500.

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