“We’re gonna need to go ahead and move you downstairs into Storage B. We have some new people coming in, and we need all the space we can get.” These lines from the movie “Office Space” drew big guffaws in theaters, but facilities managers cringed through their laughter. As the economy improves and hiring increases, they are hard-pressed to wedge new hires into the traditional offices-and-cubicles space plan.
The newly-hired millennials themselves may provide the solution. This generation seems to have a strong preference for an open, mobile, collaborative workplace. Private enclosed offices and high-walled cubicles are shunned in favor of large open floor plans and low-rise workspaces that can be moved around and reconfigured as work teams change. A recent story in IndyStar shows an interactive before-and-after graphic of an open-plan makeover for one company seeking to attract tech-savvy millennials: http://indy.st/1qe5C9f
As major corporations such as Rolls-Royce and Eli Lilly shift to open-plan workplaces to recruit millennial workers, smart space planners are now specifying office furniture that is modular, mobile, and easy to set up or store as needs fluctuate. And there’s a bonus – according to CoreNet Global, the space occupied per employee has dropped from 225 square feet in 2010 to 170 square feet in 2013. That’s something that will put a smile on the face of any facilities manager!
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Photo © Rui Vale de Sousa – fotolia