What if Your Employees Aren’t Millennials? Further Thoughts on Workspace Design

In our last blog post, we brought up one of the key tenets of commercial real estate development: When you’re building out a work area, it’s important to be mindful of who your employees are, and what type of work environment they actually prefer.

Specifically, we said that if you have a team that’s heavy on millennials, you’ll want to offer a work area that provides open space for collaboration and for maximum flexibility—things that, according to studies, most younger workers truly value.

But what if your team is comprised mostly of those a little bit more experienced—say, Gen X-ers and Baby Boomers? Their needs and preferences are different, and it’s important to have a workspace that accommodates.

Designing Your Workspace for Different Generations

Here’s an example: While some younger employees desire a cubicle-free work area, others are hesitant to embrace open office designs. In fact, many members of Gen X actively dislike the noise and the fluidity associated with cubicle-free work areas.

An article from The Washington Post drives this home—noting that open offices are meant to prompt collaboration, but this doesn’t always work out. “The noise causes people to put on headphones and tune out,” the article states. “The lack of privacy prompts others to work from home when they can. And the sense of being in a fishbowl means many choose email over a desk-side chat.”

Finding the Best Solution

So older employees prefer traditional office spaces, while younger ones might like something more open and free-form. Ultimately, which option is better?

That’s a question without a specific answer—because at the end of the day, it depends on the needs of your team. As one article puts it, “Rather than arguing over open vs. closed, we should be considering and evaluating what will create the best working environment to support the needs of the specific organization.”

That’s something a commercial real estate development company can help you with. When you partner with Kuester CRE, we’ll work with you to get a good handle on what your team’s needs truly are, and design an office layout that serves those needs now while also giving you some flexibility for the future.

We’d love to start talking with you about your company’s office space needs today—and to present you with some custom solutions. Reach out to Kuester CRE and let’s talk. You can call us at our toll-free number today: 855-723-2500.

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