Generation Y will make up 50% of the global workforce by 2020 and offices will have to change to suit their needs. Out will go dedicated desks and private meeting rooms. In will come co-working, working from home and hot desking.
Or will they? According to recent research commissioned by Savills, this generally accepted view of the future is inaccurate. Not only do many of those born in the 1980s and early 1990s, aka Generation Y, want to work in an office rather than at home, lots of them still want their own desks.
Should we be surprised? I don't think so. If you're starting out in your career you want to be seen in the office, at your desk. And you want to learn from colleagues around you. You can't do either if you're working from home. It's the older generation, the research shows, who would prefer to work from home.
Changing perceptions on how and where to work has had a marginal impact on office densities, which have been at an average of 1.8 to 1.10 per sq m for some time now. But there will be some changes. According to the research, Generation Y employees favour a more bespoke office design, preferring to work somewhere with its own distinctive style, rather than just another white-walled replica of the office next door.
So though Generation Y office workers don't necessarily want more space, they do want better facilities. For many, hot showers hold more appeal than hot desking.
Contact Savills offices team for more information.