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Millennials 'reshaping UAE workplace design'

DUBAI, February 27, 2016

The ambitious, tech-savvy ‘Millennial Generation’ are bringing great transformation into the workplace design in the UAE through cleverly integrated sharable 'digital spaces' and opting for more open and airy spaces with glass partitions for office cubicles, said an industry expert.

The UAE’s commercial fit-out market has experienced a greater demand for office workplaces that meet the expectations of the Millennials, according to Summertown Interiors, the UAE’s leading fit-out contractor specialising in green interiors.

Millennials look for collaborative working environments where they can share ideas and learn from their colleagues, it stated.

As ‘digital natives’ they rely on 24/7 connectivity to technology so they feel less reason to be tied to a desk, according to Summertown Interiors.

Offices that are designed to encourage collaboration via cleverly integrated sharable ‘digital spaces’, such as a top-of-the-range conference rooms, help to foster collaboration and improve creativity and productivity within the workplace, it added.

Commenting on the impact Millennials are having on the UAE’s fit-out market, Marcos Bish, the managing director of Summertown Interiors, said: "Millennials are reshaping workplace design in the UAE. This ambitious, tech-savvy generation has notably different working styles and preferences than other generations and place much higher value on the office environment and workplace culture."

"Designers, architects and workspace experts have started to introduce these principles into their projects to increase user satisfaction and productivity," noted Bish.

According to him, transparency is one of the top qualities that Millennials look for in leaders – honest, open cultures where there are limited barriers between management teams.

"This is reflected in office fit-outs where the focus is shifting towards open and airy spaces. Glass partitions for office cubicles are increasingly favoured over gypsum partitions," he pointed out.

"However, these open spaces also need to be balanced with private areas. Millennials want to know their colleagues are always approachable, but also want to enjoy their own privacy when they need to concentrate," explained Bish.

"Rethinking the use of space has fast become a top priority for companies in order to encourage employee engagement. Many Millennials want to feel that their company really cares about their wellbeing and this has seen a rise in the demand for health amenities in the workplace," said Bish.

"From yoga rooms, to pantries stocked with free and healthy foods and sleep corners, companies are increasingly understanding the role that the physical environment plays in promoting wellbeing at work," he added.

According to Bish, the millennial offices are firmly shaping the future of the corporate real estate industry.

By 2020, Millennials will form 50 per cent of the global workforce and, according to the World Economic Forum, the UAE is the top emerging market destination for young professionals looking to further their careers.

"Investing in the workspace should not be considered an extra cost, but an investment that has a positive impact on employees’ happiness, productivity, and loyalty," stated Bish.

"This will, in turn, enhance the organisation’s overall success. As Millennials continue to dominate the workforce, companies must adapt to new ways of doing business in order to retain employees and encourage productivity," he added.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: UAE | Design | workplace | Summertown Interiors | millennial |

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