Have Millennials Killed the Concept of the Corner Office?
We've previously covered the rise of open-plan offices, but some cutting-edge businesses are taking things a step further by eliminating formal, assigned workspaces entirely. Have millennials killed the concept of the corner office?
Before we answer that, let's look at the offices of online retailer Zappos. Its 1,300 workers are encouraged to crank out tasks from nearly anywhere: shared tables, couches, coffee shops and even the floor are all fair game. "They're more concerned about being around other people who do cool things than how big their desks are," Zappos executive Zach Ware told USA Today. "Our workspace has become our laptops."
Ware alludes to a curious shift: today's workers measure status through network influence and other markers rather than the location of their offices. "They don't aspire to the big corner office," said Patricia Lancaster of The Lancaster Group to USA Today. "They don't even want it."
Millennials have essentially killed the idea of the corner office through sheer apathy. Other factors are also in play, though; many of the trappings of a traditional office, like file cabinets, bulletin boards and cubicles, are no longer relevant to a generation accustomed to digital file systems, Facebook photo albums and open floor plans.
Regardless of millennials' influence, U.S. offices are shrinking. CoreNet Global recently discovered that most companies plan to allocate 100 square feet or less of office space per person before 2017. For context, most traditional offices use between 200 and 300 square feet per employee.
Are you ready for the concept of the corner office to fade away, or will you miss this hallmark of traditional business?
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