Want to design a Cool Working space? Understand Millennials first

May 2, 2018



Angel Yulo

Millennials, those born between 1980-1996 (some studies say 2000), will soon overtake Gen X-ers in the workplace. Research organization Brookings estimates that they will make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2025.

One of the elements strongly influencing the way these 20-to-30-something-year-olds is technology. As processors—and, in effect, gadgets—become faster and more portable, the worker of today can be productive wherever he or she is. An efficient meeting can happen in the office boardroom as well as at a corner table in a café.

When asked about what the office of today should look like, Burkhardt ‘Boogi’ Zipperich, the man behind his namesake concept store, says, “Workspaces need to spark motivation and joy. The challenge is to create spaces where employees are actually happy to go to work, they feel valued, and equipped for performance. One needs to orchestrate atmosphere, employ thoughtful and purposeful choices of elements like light, color, texture, acoustics, and select furnishings that are human-friendly, tech-optimized in design to deliver the optimum user experience.”

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Bloomint’s concept for MCI came from offices designed for people, finding a balance between corporate design and social spaces. So they divided two large spaces into corporate and non-corporate areas. The primary aim: the well-being of their employees and attracting talent, creating a work space where people want to work.

So what makes a cool working space—where employees today are most productive as well as feel cared for? One first needs to understand new working habits. Millennials in the workforce respond best to knowledge-sharing, teamwork, and networking. Whereas Gen X thrives with a rigorous top-down management approach, the next wave of business leaders feel more empowered when knowledge is integrated bottom-up. Thus, office and furniture designs have to maximize this.

52% of multi-nationals in the Asia Pacific regions are adopting new workplace strategies to enhance communication with millennials, which includes hot desking and paper-less working. It’s all about flexibility—choosing where you work but remaining efficient. Today’s work spaces can be classified into four areas: Collaboration, Focus, Training, and Social.

44% of millennials prefer to work in social breakout areas, usually in the form of well-appointed kitchens or lounges. These areas are not for party-time. Rather, these are casual environments for exchanging ideas and are bustling with activity even beyond break time. With the downsizing of other office spaces due the flexibility technology provides, more and more companies are investing in these social areas.

Actiu’s Longo Modular System and Cron Office Chairs are just two of the office furniture that adheres to the Cool Working philosophy of Actiu. The Longo Modular System integrates soft, flexible office seating that can easily shift from collaborative environment to private spaces.

One of BOOGI’s flagship brands for office furniture and workstations, Actiu—a furniture manufacturer that specializes in office and workspaces—adheres to the “three eights theory” in designing modern-day spaces and furniture. This theory is a principle that advocates organizing a day by dedicating eight hours to rest, eight hours to work, and eight hours to leisure, to maintain a psychological and emotional balance that makes us feel better and live every moment with passion.

Efficiency and productivity go hand in hand with the satisfaction of a job well done. At Actiu, this is referred to as Cool Working, and one of its anchors is the furniture used to bring forth this kind of environment.

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The Badminton armchair is one of the pieces in Cool Working by Actiu that received the Red Dot, the most prestigious international design award. Given in Berlin, Germany in 2017, the award cited the innovation in which furniture and workspace designs become tools used to promote people’s well-being and productivity.

“Over the years, Actiu has evolved to create workspaces that are reflective of what the market today needs. The ‘Cool Working’ campaign is something that we started in our headquarters in Spain and our offices across the world – we want our employees to feel comfortable, motivated, and inspired so they can successfully combine their work and personal lives,” said Michael Blanco, Actiu regional manager for Asia Pacific, during his recent visit in Manila.

Millennials are comfortable with ditching the desk. In fact, some are even more productive away from one. Now if people remains to be your company’s most valuable asset, how will you preserve and nurture it through design? 

Actiu’s exclusive partner in the Philippines is BOOGI. Located along Arnaiz Avenue in Makati City, BOOGI is a space concept store that brings together choice European brands in office and home furniture, lighting, and accessories.

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