As you know, the workplace is quickly filling up with connected-generation employees. The generation, born between the early 1980s and early 2000s are either hard at work already or quickly finishing up high school and college. According to Forbes, millennials will make up the majority of the workforce by 2025.
For these young, tech-savvy, motivated workers, the stereotypical cubicle atmosphere isn’t effective. We’ve grown up making fun of normal office operations – note the hilarious movie Office Space and TV show The Office, both big hits with millennials. We’re used to stimulation, innovation and interactive spaces, and that’s why employers can’t afford to NOT implement Experience Design into the workplace.
But how do you do that? Isn’t Experience Design made for retail spaces? Well, here are a few elements of Experience Design that any employer can use to make their workplace friendlier, happier and more productive:
We’ve had Walkmans, portable CD players, MP3 players and music-loaded smartphones since we were very young. We’ve been surrounded by music – kind of to the point where we’re uncomfortable in a place without it. That’s one reason music is such an effective element of Experience Design. It keeps employees comfortable and engaged, as long as the music has been well-chosen to not be too disruptive.
Whether it’s digital or printed, signage around the workplace can offer encouragement, information and maybe even a little humor. We in the connected-gen love knowing what’s going on in the company, not just in our corner of the office. Employers can use signage to send those messages and reinforce employees’ relationships with the brand.
3) Sound Masking
Offices are moving more and more to open-area setups, such as cubicle-style workspaces in large rooms. While this is great for collaboration, it doesn’t work so well for sharing confidential information or not distracting your neighbors. Check out some sound-masking technology to fix that. It’s an audio system providing white noise, much like an HVAC system would, that naturally keeps sound from traveling too far and distracting others – so you don’t share stories of your weekend beach trip with the whole office.
Believe it or not, research shows that scent can have a significant effect on employee mood, behavior, and productivity. According to Scientific American, pleasant scents at work can make you more efficient, more social, and even more ambitious. But be careful – some scents are less universally pleasant than others, and many workplaces have scent-free policies in place to avoid irritating scent-sensitive employees.
In the Charlotte office, Mood Media keeps employees happy and productive with a wide variety of music, sound-masking technology, and several digital screens with brand information and event details around the workplace. For a millennial like me, it feels like a welcoming and invigorating place to work, not a stodgy corporate trap of boredom and stress.
Have you prepared your workplace for the connected generation? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
– Submitted by Samantha Knowlton, Marketing