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21st Century Office Design: Workplace Fit for Millennial Workforce

Gone are the times when employers could overhaul the workplace and call it a day for the next few years. Baby boomers are retiring in flocks, and young hopefuls are stepping up to fill vacant seats, hankering for a slice of the corporate cake.

According to certain projections, millennials will account for a total of 75% of global workforce by 2025. With young business sharks behind the wheel, office design is racing forward at full speed, and the demand for workplaces that fit the worker is now more vocal than ever. Generation Yers are definitely here to make big waves in business waters – and here are some of the main aspects in which design preferences of millennial employees are re-shaping the modern office.

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Memoirs of an Office Cubicle – Part I: The Golden Office Chair of Ergonomics

Cubicle aficionados link the late great Robert Propst with the invention of the cubicle.  The story goes something like this…

While working at the office furniture company, Herman Miller, Mr. Propst designed the first “cubicle workstation” for Mr. Herman Miller.  In a secret file titled, “Operation Golden Chair of Ergonomics” the two great minds hashed out the blueprint for dimensional cubical relay.

This series will not be so much about the creation of the cubicle, but rather regarding great moments in cubicle history that includes a series of personal interviews with some of the most influential cubiclists and cubicles in history.  Yes, I'm interviewing actual cubicles.

5 Ways to Bring Summer Vacation to Your Cubicle

The traditional public school system set many of us up for disappointment when we entered the working world.  After spending eighteen years or more of our lives knowing that two months of idle summer days would be the reward for ten months of hard work, sitting out our summer in a cubicle can feel like a trap.

It's hard not to feel a pang of nostalgia for those luxurious summer vacations every sunny morning you drive into work.  If you're spending your work days dreaming of poolside lounging and exciting beach trips, it might be time to bring Summer vacation to your cubicle.

While your boss would probably frown upon you bringing in sand to pour on the floor, here are five other ideas to bring the feeling of a summer vacation to your work space.

Business Growth: 5 Signs It’s Time to Move to a New Office

Business is doing well.  Clients are pouring in and new faces are regularly joining your company to handle the extra work.  As you climb higher on the ladder of success, you find yourself looking at your familiar surroundings and wondering if it’s time for a change.  But how do you really know your company is ready to move to a new office?

Moving is a stressful and expensive experience, so choosing to move to a new office is not a decision to take lightly.  The move will only be worth the cost if your current office space has reached the point where it is holding your company back from further growth and success.  Here are five signs that it’s time to leave your current space and find a new office.

You Simply Need More Space

Cramped Office

If your current office space is feeling cramped, the thought of moving has probably entered your head.  Running out of space is one of the most common reasons businesses move, especially if they anticipate continued growth.

5 Decorating Trends to Use in Your Office Design in 2016

When your employees spend the best part of their week in your office, making them feel at home is a great way to keep morale high and thank them for their hard work.  You don’t have to go full-Google with slides and lap pools to be on the modern edge of office design, though.  Using some of the modern home design trends into your office will keep your business feeling current and comfortable.  Here are five different 2016 decorating trends to use in your office design and make your employees feel at home.

Add a Delicate Pastel Touch

Pastels

Every year, Pantone announces its colors of the year, which has a major influence on interior design for the entire year.  In 2016, the chosen Pantone colors are Rose Quartz and Serenity, a pastel pink and blue.  These colors have encouraged the design world to embrace pastels of all shades this year.

Designing an Office That Works for Introverts

Offices have long emphasized quiet and isolated work spaces, but lately we’ve been moving more toward an open and social work environment.  On the surface, this seems like an improvement for everyone.  Work is more fun for employees in a casual space where you can chat freely with your coworkers.  The company benefits from a more efficient use of space and the new ideas that come from easier collaboration between employees.

The open office trend seems like a win-win situation, particularly if you are an extrovert, the sort of person who gets energized by talking to other people.  However, while extroverts might thrive in this collaborative and busy environment, your introverted employees are more likely to struggle to maintain their productivity and workplace satisfaction.  If you’re noticing several of your employees fighting to meet deadlines and quotas or looking constantly exhausted in the office, you may need to take a second look at your layout to make sure you have an office design that works for introverts as well as it does for extroverts.

Office Designs for 3 Popular Leadership Styles

Strong leadership is vital to any successful office, but not one style of leadership works for every company, or even every department within a company.  One of the biggest challenges managers face is finding and developing the best leadership style to motivate their employees to complete work on time and to company standards.

Just as leadership style needs to be adjusted for the unique needs of a department, office design should be adjusted to accommodate these leadership styles.  Here are just a few ways you can adjust your department’s office design to match your leadership style.

Laissez-Faire Leadership Style

 Laissez-Faire Leadership Style

The laissez-faire leadership style is one of the most laid-back styles a manager can implement.  This style delegates most of the responsibility for completing quality work to individual employees, with little supervision and interference from the manager.  It is one of the most difficult management styles to perform successfully, and requires the greatest amount of trust of any leadership style. In the right environment, however, the laissez-faire leadership style can be very effective.

Avoid Trends and Make a Smart Choice for Your Office Design

Office Design Trends to Be Avoided

Office design trends, once primarily a feature of the worlds of fashion and home design, have moved increasingly into the office space.  People look to hip, successful companies like Google and see their unusual office designs, often featuring amenities like slides, free snacks, and game rooms.  Articles are written equating the success of these companies to their unique environments, or listing the trendy amenities that will attract young millennial workers to your office.  While features like slides and in-office daycare facilities aren’t possible for many companies, other easy-to-add features like colorful walls, game rooms, and open office plans have become commonly adopted trends.

While a good office design is an essential feature to encourage employee satisfaction and productivity, what defines “good design” is more about the specific needs of your company than it is about current office design trends.  Chasing office design trends is at best an inefficient use of time and money, and at worst a colossal waste of funds with a powerfully negative effect on productivity.  Before you embrace a trend, take the time to think about how it will really work in your office.

Does Your Company Run on Collaboration or Concentration?

Collaborative Work Environment

Out of all the office design trends, none has taken off more ubiquitously than the open office design.  It’s not hard to see why.  The big, open spaces look far more modern than the cubicles we’ve come to associate with the traditional office.  Natural light from office windows is no longer impeded by tall cubicle walls, making the space seem bright and fresh.  Employees can mingle easily and share ideas.  And, let’s face it, it’s a lot cheaper to fill your office with more people when you have an open floor plan.

Create Trust and Transparency With Your Office Design

 The traditional way of conducting business is rapidly changing, largely in response to the technological and cultural shift caused by the both the increased influence of the Internet and the rise of a new generation in the workplace.  As neckties give way to hoodies and formal meetings make way for informal brainstorming sessions, one major trend is making a huge impact on the way businesses interact with their employees: the demand for transparency.

Transparency in the workplace manifests itself in several ways.  Regularly sharing open and honest information about company performance and goals, providing regular feedback and updates on projects, and creating a safe space for employees to share concerns and ideas are all important aspects of a transparent workplace.  Even some of the “fluffier” work trends, like casual dress codes and flexible schedules, are a manifestation of this desire for transparency at work.  At its heart, the demand for workplace transparency is an expression of the need for trust, respect, and understanding.  Employees devote a huge percentage of their prime years to the workplace, so it should be no surprise that in return they are now asking to be treated as trusted adults with human needs, rather than as professional simulacra simply there to perform a job.

The Most Creative Ways to Decorate Your Office Cubicle for Christmas

The leaves have fallen, pumpkins are long gone and Thanksgiving is here – which can only mean one thing: it’s time to start decorating for Christmas! From classic Christmas vignettes to clever pop culture homages, we’ve got plenty of decoration tips, examples and ideas that’ll help make your cubicle the talk of the office this holiday season.

Turn your cubicle into a gingerbread house

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It’s entirely up to you whether or not you decorate with fake or real candy, just be prepared for a lot of drop-ins by hungry coworkers if you choose the latter.

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