Much is to be said about employing millennials in the workplace. Defined as the generation born between 1980 and 1994, this generation is set to make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025 (PWC).
There are untold reports and comments about employing millennials and what they expect from the workplace from everything to be handed to them on a plate to technology at their fingertips, all painting the picture that millennials are either spoilt and lazy with unrealistic views of the workplace or driven entrepreneurs with no desire to listen to or socialise with their elder generations.
We have been designing workplaces for 25 years and in that time we’ve seen office design trends change dramatically. Today, when we create new office spaces for our clients, there are some key features that are now expected, and we believe this has been influenced by employing millennials in the workplace.
Vision and values are at the heart of the design
This is due to in part to millennials placing increased importance on working at a company where they share common values and attitudes towards corporate social responsibility, environmental awareness, sustainability, and giving something back to the community. Millennials are looking to work at companies with strong cultures, uniting its employees to work towards common mutual goals over and above profitability and growth.
When a company’s culture and values are at the heart of the organisation and this is brought to life through the physical office design, we see stronger employee engagement and loyalty through the alignment of personal and corporate values.
Technology is essential
Yes, millennials have grown up with technology at their fingertips. This comes at a time when the world has and continues to see exponential advancements in technology. So of course, when it comes to designing office environments, getting the technology right is essential. Affording employees with the option to be always connected, providing seamless integration across technology platforms, enabling global collaboration and giving employees choice over which technology they use are all expected by employees, particularly millennials.
Organisations that demonstrate a forward-thinking approach to the adoption and deployment of technology in their office design are more likely to be more successful when it comes to employing millennials.
A flexible workplace makes a big difference
Many reports claim that millennials desire the flexibility to work in isolation, from anywhere, particularly their favourite coffee shop whilst others report the millennials do desire an inspiring workplace, understanding the need to collaborate and communicate with the peers, managers and colleagues in order to learn, develop and grow but that they find distractions such as background noise, inconsistent temperature, and poor lighting too distracting. So, getting these essentials right is a must for businesses when it comes to office design.
We design office environments that take into account and address all of the above. Every workspace we design is a smart working one. Bringing the coffee shop into the office and offering all employees a wide range of flexible working environments to best suit the task at hand. This brings a multitude of benefits including enabling employees, no matter what generation, to collaborate, network and learn from each other.
Wellbeing at work is extremely important and is on the agenda across the board. Unlike earlier generations, millennials are less likely to have an issue with admitting and addressing concerns surrounding depression, anxiety and stress. These subjects are less taboo for the millennial generation and so companies who recognise this and are able to provide wellbeing offerings from onsite wellbeing centres, gyms, lunchtime workout, yoga, meditation and mindfulness or simply a well-equipped café with healthy foods will be more successful in employing millennials.
From an office design point of view, we recognise that not all businesses can provide onsite gyms and wellbeing centres but designing multi-purpose office spaces that can be used for lunchtime yoga or meditation sessions can be just as effective. Likewise, ensuring that employees have a choice of environments in which to work, such as quiet spaces that are away from the hustle and bustle of the office, can have a positive impact on employee wellbeing.
Finally, it’s important not to underestimate the importance of how an employee feels when they come to the office. A bright, well equipped, multifunctional office space will be more likely to attract, inspire and retain employees than a drab, run-down, poorly designed space. If you are looking for a professional, expert office design and smart working partner to help you take your office from good to great in your quest to attract and retain new employees, including the millennial generation, give us a call.
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