By Matt Loorya – Senior Vice President, Driver SPG

The ubiquitous baby boomer population has recently taken a back seat to millennials, who as of 2016 now outnumber any other generation on Earth. This new majority of 74.5 million 19- to 36-year-olds is also establishing itself in the workforce: demanding and defining a new culture of collaboration and life-work balance that is changing the way we think about workspaces today.

Millennials care about the spaces they work in, and Driver SPG is responding in a big way by creating innovative transformations that lend themselves to creativity, productivity and cooperation.

Not long ago, when you talked about office space, it was in reference to private offices. Plush carpet. Wood furniture packages. As baby boomers retire and millennials replace them, redefining these spaces to be more innovative, collaborative and inspirational in now the focus.

Driver SPG recently completed its largest tenant improvement project in Hollywood history: the 315,000 square-foot, 14-story buildout of Netflix’s new Los Angeles headquarters office. The Class A high-rise, located squarely in the middle of Hollywood’s creative culture, reflects the company’s ambitions to solidify its position as one of the entertainment industry’s top players.

Interior spaces feature relaxing and engaging spaces that inspire creativity and help to draw top talent. Expresso bars, cafés, open spaces and collaboration areas create a culture that is relaxed, inviting and inspiring. Several floors in the building are considered “We” floors that include shared amenity spaces with panoramic views of the city.

Driver SPG also completed tenant improvements to the State Bar of California’s new 110,000-square-foot office facilities, which were originally constructed in 1958. For generations, the legal industry has been defined by mahogany furniture, plush appointments and a showcase library. We put much more emphasis on the environment of the office space.

We stripped down the building, exposed the original concrete and made the building more functional. The five-story concrete building was redesigned to feature an open concept design with work stations and flexible, collaborative meeting areas that bring an engaging spirit to the workplace. Other components of the building include private offices, conference rooms, storage areas, courtrooms, kitchen and break rooms. On the first floor are two loading docks that were converted to reception and storage areas.

Other Driver SPG clients have included DreamWorks; Incipio; Sony Studios; California Institute of Technology; and more.

There’s a big push to bring attention not only to what people are doing, but how they are doing it. You have to create an environment that people want to be in. Technology plays a key role in that transformation.

Work spaces today need to be designed with mobility in mind, too. People are no longer tethered to their desktop computers. They prefer to move about, bringing their laptops, tablets and mobile devices with them to sit near a window or attend meetings in informal spaces with their colleagues.

The traditional norms of offices have shifted. Today, there is more of an emphasis on how an office operates. You really need to pay attention to the design of the building and the functionality of the space. The materials used in completing a renovation are equally important.

For example, Driver SPG’s renovation for California Institute of Technology, KISS Tolman-Bacher Compound is registered LEED Platinum certified. A significant amount of the construction material was recycled; local and regional building materials were used; type VB wood and steel structure is naturally ventilated LEED Platinum Certified, non-toxic paint, sealants, adhesives and wall coverings were selected; high-efficiency filtration systems were installed to reduce building occupant exposure to pollutants and particulates; and drought-tolerant and native plants were elected to create a water-efficient landscape.

In collaboration with the design team, it’s not enough anymore to simply change a color palette or an office décor. Here at Driver SPG, we are stripping the trappings of the past and completely reimagining the demands of the modern workforce for the future.