Making way for Millennials: How to Design the Workplace of the Future.

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It’s no doubt the way we work has changed, and changed rapidly over the last decade. Technology has empowered and enabled an increasingly mobile, fluid workforce – millennials work for themselves, work freelance, and work frequently and independently. As a result, the concept of co working has exploded – but how is the idea evolving?

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The world of boxed cubicles, bosses and 9 – 5 is melting away, and the rhetoric around work is less about work to live and more about live to work. Millennials value their career first, and their ambitions are couched in passionate, creative outlets, whatever the industry. Their parents dreamt of backyards and boats on the weekend, millennials want to feel fulfilled and free Monday through Sunday.

Statistics stating that 40 per cent of the United States workforce will be freelance by 2020 (Forbes) suggest these changes aren’t simply a floating trend, but rather a complete evolution in the way we work. In Australia, the number of independent contractors or self-employed people who did not employ others, as a percentage of the workforce, has already increased from 6.7 per cent in 1978 to 9 per cent in 2013. This statistic is set to accelerate in coming years.

Indeed, millennials no longer seem to value the traditional workplace as it once was – the cohort has disregarded dress codes, penalties for being late, and meetings for the sake of meetings. Millennials have instead opted for sneakers and heightened productivity, vying for creative leadership and quality in their working life.

Starbucks coined the term ‘third space’ to denote the corners of its cafes crowded with computers, and the place in between the office and the home office. Co working spaces are the purpose-driven upshot of people working amidst caramel lattes – but as these changes have rolled in, and co working spaces continue to crop up to meet millennials’ shifting ideals, how has workplace design responded?

Here are three co working spaces that are more than a ramble of desks, WiFi and ‘like-minded’ individuals:

WeWork, CBD and Pyrmont, Sydney

Imported from the United States, WeWork is the world’s most successful co working model, owning a rather serious chunk of New York City real estate, and now – two locations within Sydney. Interface Human Nature carpet tiles were used to create an area rug within the meeting areas.

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Paramount by The Office Space, Surry Hills, Sydney

While co working has not typically been aligned with any concept of luxury – Paramount has brought a new Hollywood era look of lavishness to the idea, with rich cherry oak finishes, an assortment of high end designer furniture, a collection of rare contemporary art, and a fully stocked whisky cabinet.

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Gravity, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane

A very stylish take on co working, that champions all the comforts of your fashionable lounge room, with the benefit of high speed internet and other savvy and trendy business owners and entrepreneurs to bounce ideas off.

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