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5 Millennial-Led Office Design Trends CRE Should Be Paying Attention To


It’s no secret that Millennials are dominating contemporary professionalism. Born between 1981 and 1996, this generation is taking the world by storm and completely shaking up the way business gets done. With a whopping 76.2 million members, this group is regarded as modern history’s largest generation to date—and the entire globe is feeling their presence.

Millennials are redesigning office spaces to better fit their wants, needs, and aspirations. As a result, it’s becoming increasingly vital for CRE to keep up with the new direction that this forward-thinking generation is taking the world.

Let’s explore these five (5) hot office design trends that CRE professionals should look out for.

Turning Back to Nature

In the past, offices were traditionally known to be bland, drab, and boring. This depressing set-up no longer appeals to the modern-day workforce, and it was Millennials who instigated a fresh change.

Today, workplaces commonly include natural lighting, live plants, exposed brick, and wood elements. Think wall-sized windows and sprawling open spaces that secure a strong connection to the outdoors. This builds a relaxing and stress-free atmosphere which cultivates both efficiency and greater well-being.

Specialized Lounge Areas

Millennials place high importance on creating experiences. In the office, this translates to specially designated areas. Present day professional environments are comfort-centric, and this allows for increased collaboration and a greater sense of social freedom.

According to Jeff Miller, one of Apple’s lead interior designers, “Lighter, powerful, wireless technology has untethered the workspace more than ever. Offices now mandate the inclusion of dedicated lounge areas to make working more enjoyable”.

Flexibility is Key

The idea that proficiency can only be produced within the confines of a boxed-in cubicle is terribly outdated. Today’s top offices are geared around the concept of impermanence, meaning that important elements should move, shift, and work around those who are operating them.

Millennials are always ready to live in the moment, and oftentimes that requires shaking things up. Modular designs are perfect for enabling team members to find unique and creative solutions for everyday issues.

Less Is More

Minimalism is the perfect design scheme for contemporary office setups. Millennials refuse to spend time in a dark, cramped, or overcrowded workspace. Instead, they’re demanding wireless devices, sleeker furniture, and brighter colors. Clarity plays a huge role in increasing efficiency—helping team members to get more done in less time.

Coworking Spaces

Coworking has seen unprecedented growth since it’s humble beginnings in 2005. Quantum leaps in popularity have caused the number of coworking spaces to drastically increase, and experts expect there to be 3.8 million active coworking offices by 2020.

This dynamic approach to the everyday office routine cultivates an exciting community-based workflow. Coworking satisfies all the needs of Millennials—providing endless flexibility and fresh adventures. Shared offices are the new norm and this offers massive potential for CRE across the globe.

It’s no question that Millennials are revolutionizing office culture. When most professionals spend an average of 1,842 hours every year at the office, design plays a monumental role in productivity, efficiency, and happiness.



The Society of Industrial and Office Realtors® (SIOR) represents the world’s elite in industrial and office brokerage. SIORs are held to the highest standard by completing thorough requirements and adhering to the SIOR Code of Ethics. SIOR is more than a designation, it’s a symbol of excellence. SIORs value the power that comes with building relationships and sharing ideas that are on the leading edge of the industry. They are the most knowledgeable, experienced, ethical, and successful commercial real estate brokerage specialists. For more information, visit