Designing for millennials in the workplace

Jo Horbury

Those born between 1980 – 2000, the millennials, are the future of your company, which is why it is more important to be creating a recruitment strategy now more than ever before. By 2020, they will form 50% of the global workforce, and in order for your brand to survive, you need to be attracting the best in the business, starting with design.

How your workplace looks, feels and operates will have a huge impact on the decision these generations make. Often, they are turned off by big corporate businesses with rigid structures and little character, and instead warm to companies that offer flexibility and scope to climb up the career ladder. They want to be working at a place that gives them the added edge, a place that not only their friends will be jealous of, but a place that will enable them to continue learning. So, before creating a millennials strategy you need to consider the design of your workplace to ensure it fits the aspirations of those you’re appealing to.


What sets millennials apart from previous generations is their relationship with technology. They have grown as the digital world grew and many won’t be able to remember a time without broadband or smart phones.

With this in mind, it’s not surprising that 75% of them feel that “access to technology makes them more effective at work”. They’re multi-taskers and are in the midst of changing the way work is completed, so considering your technology is key when designing for millennials. Giving them a choice in type of work setup will give them the chance to tailor their job to their preferences and heighten their productivity. Also, consider the different work stations around your office and the accessibility to the internet and power supplies, as a change in environment can amplify a collaboration between employees.



Growing up with technology has led to millennials having an ever-lasting appetite for customisation. They cross paths with hundreds of different, but personalised, experiences every month which means they expect nothing less from their workplace. They’re hungry for freedom and flexibility at home and at work, so your design strategy should reflect their personalities.

Technology is one way to do this, but there are others too. Give them the opportunity to arrange their work space in a way that suits their working style. Offer flexible working hours; many millennials are connected from the minute they wake up to the minute they got to sleep, resulting in them breaking the normalities of 9 – 5 working. When they are at work, create break out zones and different areas in your office or studio. These will stop them from feeling confined to their desk space and allow them to work to their initiative when they hit a hurdle in the road or need a change of scenery.



Workplace culture is everything to millennials. They’re looking for more than “just a job” and are not afraid to uproot if their current employer isn’t making them tick. This means you need to do more than just organise a team-building session every six months. They want to enjoy work and befriend the people they work with. They want to be a part of a company that’s invested in its people and their growth, not just the figures.

So create an environment they’re proud to work in. Give them spaces to socialise with others in their team. Provide ergonomic furniture that’s both practical and good looking, and don’t be afraid to continue evolving as that will not only attract new millennials to your workplace, but retain those that are already working for you.