Making Way for Millennials in the Office

As of last year, Millennials have officially become the largest working demographic in Canada. Whether you call them Generation Y, Generation Me, or Echo Boomers, those born between the early 1980’s to the early 2000’s are now carrying the country’s economy. So for any employer looking to succeed, they have to adapt to the needs of this cohort. In particular, the structure and design of the work place.


A recent article in The Vancouver Sun shared how local offices are changing -- literally. Cubicles, corner offices, and segmented hierarchies are not only considered archaic, but often deal-breakers by Millennial professionals.

So if you’re looking to attract talent or retain your current employees, here are a few guiding design principles for the office space.

Open and Flexible Environments

This past summer we were joined by Bill Dowzer, a Principal at an award winning Australian architectural firm called BVN, at the NAIOP Breakfast Event. Dowzer shared how when conceptualizing design, he removes hierarchical barriers like private office and cubicles so that everyone from CEOs to assistants can work together in an open-concept, open-space approach. Millennials want a “democratization of the workforce”, creating an environment that people can actually enjoy the space and collaborate. To see more of Dowzer’s designs and design principles, we’ve shared all of the details in this blog post.

Go Green

This eco-conscious demographic cares about recycling, zero waste, and food composting to reduce their footprint. They want their employer to also share the same ideals, and take a sustainable approach in both the design and operation. Millennials also want buildings that stand out for their sustainable materials and LEED certification.


Work/Life Balance

Healthier offices lead to healthier employees, and Millennials know this. From meditation rooms to fully equipped gyms to ping pong tables, businesses are having to provide amenities to attract top talent. 

Location, Location

Beyond just the interior of the buildings, organizations have to think about the exteriors as well. Are you located next to a park or courtyard so staff can spend time outside? And as this generation is increasingly foregoing cars, how close are you to transit? These are all important factors that developers and businesses have to consider in the building process.

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