How to Design an Office Millennial Employees Will Love

Millennials are a growing presence in the workplace. Born roughly between 1980 and 2000, members of this tech-savvy generation will make up 75% of the workforce by 2030.

Millennials are already heavily influencing company operations, layout, and interior design. Let’s explore what drives this generation and what design features they want at work.

What Millennials Value

Millennials are one of the most studied generations—some argue the most studied generation. Marketers, civic leaders, and business executives obsess over what makes them tick.

What do millennials want? What are their values and beliefs?

Millennials are self-confident, tolerant, and adaptable, and they value diversity. They’re also the most educated generation in history. They’re also tech-savvy, having grown up with computers and cell phones (though older millennials didn’t have the same early exposure to tech as their younger counterparts).

Millennials have a strong work ethic, but they want to work differently from previous generations. They value freedom and flexible work schedules and don’t readily conform to what they see as outdated rules in the workplace.

Research has found that millennials want to work “with” a company, not “for” it. They want lots of one-on-one time with higher-ups and see managers more as mentors and less as “bosses.” The data shows that managers who show genuine interest in millennial employees are rewarded with huge increases in agility (8x) and innovation (7x).

On the whole, millennials value a social work environment and want to work for socially conscious companies. According to a Great Place to Work survey, half of millennials said a company’s involvement in a cause influenced their decision to accept a job offer.

Designing a Millennial-Friendly Workplace

Understanding what millennials value can help you build a workspace they’ll appreciate and thrive in. Here are some design tips to help get you started.

Bring down the walls.

The conventional office design—with rows of desks or cubicles surrounded by executive offices—just doesn’t do it for millennials. Younger workers want fewer walls and dynamic, energetic spaces where they can collaborate.

And indeed, open office layouts have become the norm now, inspired heavily by the Gen Xers and Millennials of Silicon Valley. After years of experimentation, we have a better understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of open floor plans.

On the plus side, they promote collaboration and create more opportunities for creative run-ins. On the downside, they can be distracting and stressful, and they can make employees feel self-conscious about being on constant display.

Fortunately, there’s a good solution: glass office partitions and sliding room dividers. You can use these versatile wall panels to construct semi-private offices, section off a room, create meeting and “huddle” rooms, and build private workspaces and phone booths. Glass partitions give employees privacy without feeling claustrophobic.

Model the office after big bookstores.

It’s ironic that online commerce has been the proverbial last nail in the coffin for so many brick-and-mortar bookstores, yet we love the atmosphere of these places—the in-store coffee shops, comfy lounge seating, and rows of books.

These places have good energy, so it’s not all that surprising that a growing number of companies are incorporating cafes, lounges, and libraries into their office plans.

Leaving your workspace can stimulate creativity and break up the monotony of the day. When designed strategically—away from high-traffic thoroughfares and with rules about noise and cell phone use—these spaces can help boost productivity and keep millennial employees happy.

Choose innovative furniture.

Office space is shrinking. In the 1980s, each employee got a whopping 400 square feet of workspace. By 2020 that amount will drop to 100-150 square feet. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing since millennials are less tied to designated workspaces, but a smaller footprint means you need to get strategic with your furnishings.

Innovative furniture designs are changing office interiors as we know them—things like standing desks, modular furniture and chairs, slim tables, and mobile file cabinets with upholstered surfaces that double as a perch for visitors. It’s all about thoughtful design.

If you decide to adopt a desk-sharing model where employees don’t have assigned desk spaces, make sure employees can move freely from one space to the next with movable power and data components.

Also, think about how the color of walls and furnishings influences mood and productivity. Red, orange, and yellow are energizing, while pastels are more calming. Consider creating themed spaces throughout the office that allow employees to choose where they feel most comfortable. A good interior designer will help you choose colors that are right for your office space.

Incorporate technology.

Tech-savvy millennials grew up with technology and expect the latest tools at work, including:

  • Wireless keyboards, mice, and headsets
  • Razor-thin laptops
  • Tablets and smartphones
  • Dual monitor setups
  • Interactive whiteboards
  • Game consoles

Investing in quality tech will help you retain top millennial talent because it shows you care about each employee’s day-to-day experience and support their productivity.

Create sanctuary spaces.

Open office plans are great for collaboration and for maximizing space, but they have their pitfalls. They can be noisy, distracting environments where it’s hard to concentrate.

Distractions can make productivity plummet. It can also stress out employees and diminish their morale. That’s why more and more employers with open office plans are realizing the need to create designated quiet zones for work that requires deep concentration. Modular wall partitions are ideal for quickly creating sanctuary spaces.

Space Plus: Helping You Create an Impressive-Looking Office Space

The modern workplace needs state-of-the-art solutions, and Space Plus—a division of The Sliding Door Company—provides them.

Our office divider walls dividers and interior glass sliding doors can help you create dynamic spaces for every need—from conference rooms to sanctuary spaces to “huddle rooms.” Our partitions are sleek and modern, constructed of the highest quality tempered or laminated glass. Our talented team will help you choose from a variety of designs, glass types, and frame finishes to suit your space.

View our gallery for inspiration and learn more about our glass partitions and interior sliding glass door solutions for office environments here.


How to Design a Welcoming Waiting Room for Patients and Families

Healthcare is undergoing a major shift toward value-based service, which emphasizes quality over quantity in patient care. This means that every part of the patient experience matters—from their first encounter with a front desk attendant to the moment the patient leaves your office.

Patients spend a lot of time in waiting rooms—the average wait time to see a primary care physician is 24 minutes. If you’re a specialty practice with longer wait times than average, it’s even more important to make sure your waiting room is welcoming and well-equipped. The overarching goal is to make sure patients know you value their time.

Here are some ways to create a more welcoming waiting room.

Create different activity zones.

Creating different niches—from reading nooks to TV viewing areas to activity spaces for kids—will allow patients to choose an area that’s right for them.

Movable glass partitions are an affordable way to create different waiting zones within the same space.

Also consider sectioning off a space with tech-enabled workbenches where adults with laptops or tablets can get work done while they wait. If you operate a family practice or pediatrician’s office, a kids’ play area is a must. Anything that makes the time feel more productive (or entertaining) is likely to reduce patient stress and boredom.

Choose comfortable, stylish seating.

Careful rows of seating upholstered in outdated floral prints may be the norm in physician waiting rooms, but they’re not what patients want. Thankfully, commercial furniture makers are catching up to the times and creating seating that’s stylish and comfortable.

Also consider furniture pieces that support the look of your brand. If your logo is orange, for example, incorporate orange accent pieces into your waiting room décor. Just make sure the seating you choose accommodates people of different sizes and abilities.

Incorporate good lighting.

If any reception area needs soothing, comfortable lighting, it’s the waiting room of a doctor’s office. Bring in natural light and views of the outdoors whenever possible. If your office doesn’t have one or more windows to the outdoors, use a variety of lighting sources, including overhead fixtures (preferably not fluorescent), tabletop lighting, sconces, and decorative floor lamps.

Hang artwork.

Wildlife images, landscapes, cultural scenes, and photos of local landmarks are all good choices for a waiting area. Single-panel and multi-panel canvas photos are popular today. Split prints are aesthetically interesting and can be configured in many ways.

Help patients feel less isolated.

Most waiting rooms are completely closed off from the clinical area by design. Blind to everything going on behind the scenes, it’s easy for patients to get frustrated and wonder whether anything’s happening back there at all.

Installing a glass divider or glass door between the waiting room and the clinical area allows patients to see people coming and going and staff moving about. This visual sightline can help put patients and their family members at ease.

Use technology to your advantage.

As of this year, 81% of Americans have smartphones, and the number of seniors with smartphones has also increased exponentially.

Give patients Wi-Fi access so they can watch their favorite shows and keep themselves occupied while they wait to be seen. A small charging station doesn’t take up much space, but your patients will appreciate it. Also consider adding a self-check-in kiosk. It can save your staff time, and it appeals to tech-savvy consumers.

Space Plus: Helping You Improve Patient Experience 

The modern healthcare facility needs state-of-the-art solutions, and Space Plus, a division of The Sliding Door Company, provides them.

Our wall partitions and sliding doors can help you create distinct spaces in your waiting room or reception area for greater patient comfort. Our partitions are sleek and modern, constructed of the highest quality tempered or laminated glass. Our talented team will help you choose from a variety of designs, glass types, and frame finishes to suit your space.

View our gallery for inspiration and learn more about our interior glass partitions and sliding room dividers for healthcare environments here.