October 5, 2016 The extensive use of mobile devices combined with a new generation of working millennials has created a new question in the workforce. Why go to work every day? Changes to the workforce began with the introduction of the smartphone which was quickly followed by the integration of other mobile devices. Such devices have since made their way into almost all aspects of everyday life. A few decades ago, business calls had to be made from an office phone. Now, phone calls, emails, texts, and other forms of communication can be sent from virtually anywhere. The workforce has also changed due to the wave of millennials that has been integrated. Currently millennials make up the largest generation of people in the workforce, even surpassing baby boomers. They have not only changed how work is done, but they have also changed how businesses and organizations function as a whole. The days of employees bunkering down in their offices for 10+ hours a day are gone. So too is the notion of an organization hiring one superstar employee to pump out one genius idea after another. So why bother going into work at all? One word, collaboration. Organizations now look to hire employees who can collaborate well with others. Research has shown, organizations that promote collaborative efforts among employees produce more innovative and higher quality ideas. Successful organizations embrace teamwork. Some go even further to reconfigure workspaces to foster such collaborations. How can this be done? It first begins with a radical departure from the use of private offices. Such a drastic departure from the traditional office configuration might be intimidating, but companies like Prentice Office Environments specialize in helping all kinds of organizations make the most of their space to create an environment that promotes innovation. In other words, space planning. Prentice advices businesses on how their space can be used efficiently in the changing workforce. Some employees, for example, might just need a place to plug-in while not being tied down to a desk. Such employees don’t require as much space as someone who works best at a desk they can call their own. It depends on the type of employee. All businesses however should keep the goal of fostering collaboration in mind when space planning. Prentice practices what they preach. They’ve completely done away with individual office spaces and cubicles for a more innovative environment. Their Environments & Showroom Office, located at 472 Franklin Street in downtown Buffalo features a unique open workspace configuration designed to promote collaborative efforts among employees. For circumstances that require more discretion, several sound-proof privacy rooms have been constructed as well as a number of traditional conference rooms. Mobile devices enable business to be conducted almost anywhere. So what does this mean for your organization? To motivate employees, especially millennials, to spend time in the office, businesses should design workspaces that promote collaborative efforts among employees. Doing so will make employees feel more engaged with the company and each other. Prentice Office Environments began in 1834. They work to provide workplace insights and innovations while solving the unique challenges posed by today’s workplace needs. Special thanks to Amanda Schroeder of Prentice Office Environments for taking time to meet with HUNT Commercial to discuss how they can assist with WNY’s design, space planning, furniture, and move management needs.