We live in an era of the cubicle worker, with each employee isolated in their own personal space. Rather than increasing productivity, however, this practice stunts creativity and collaboration in the workplace. Fortunately, millennials are fighting back against the culture of isolation and demanding more flexibility and mobility in their work space. Here are the upcoming changes and their impact on personal space in the office.
1. Collaborative Spaces
Not only is the new generation of workers changing the way we work, but they are changing the physical spaces we work in. Rather than dividing an office into cubicles, forward-thinking companies are developing collaborative, shared work spaces for their employees. This may be an open area in their office or a rented space for remote workers to gather and share ideas. Large desks, whiteboards, projectors, and other collaborative tools are becoming more common in the workplace.
We’re incredibly connected as a culture, and as a result, companies are starting to see the appeal of a remote workforce. Employees can have the same level of engagement, but without the overhead of office spaces or the stress of a morning commute. This structure satisfies the millennial’s need of flexibility, while maintaining a strong connection with their peers through the use of technology. Because of this, companies may have work forces scattered all over the country (or the globe), increasing their ability to share ideas and establish a creative think tank.
3. “Gig Culture”
Not only are employees more interested in picking up freelance work in addition to their full-time jobs, but companies are starting to see the benefit of hiring contract workers for projects both large and small. As a result, the regular staff will have exposure to new and interesting coworkers, encouraging the sharing of ideas and techniques that they may not encounter on a daily basis. This can be a great learning opportunity for full-timers and freelancers alike.
4. More Technology
Each of these developments demands an increased use in technology. Telecommuters and freelancers need video conferencing software, instant messengers, and project management tools to stay on track, while collaborative spaces require the ability to share screens and ideas in a constructive, effective way. As a result, companies will begin investing more time and money in new technology, and employees will spend more time interfacing with these technologies.
Millennials are taking the working world by storm, and in many ways, the changes they cause are beneficial. The working environment is more creative than ever and it fosters a sense of collaboration that makes the development of great ideas possible. For millennials, this is a very exciting time to be developing a career, as you have the very real opportunity to change the way your company works. So embrace these new changes and look forward to the new opportunities and challenges to come.