The Truth About Millennials and Office Space

In 2020, Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) now make up a large majority of the workforce. As a business owner, it is important to take note of this fact, as to attract the brightest and freshest young minds in the workforce today, you might need to adapt your workplace. For the context of this article, this includes the office spaces that you expect your employees to work from, as if they are off-putting in any way, you might alienate your Millennial staff members.

In this article, we are going to take a closer look at what Millennials want in an office space, what you need to do to make your workplace Millennial-friendly, and some other interesting facts that you might consider useful. 

What do Millennials want in an office space? 

With a love of technology, a desire to connect with others, and a vested interest in the environment, these are the Millennial trends that are shaping office spaces today.

When it comes to technology, any advance that allows them to use not only their laptops but their smart devices too, are a must-have when it comes to the software programmes and apps that they use on a daily basis. Saying goodbye to manual processes, it is the use of technology that can make an employee feel right at home. After all, they use their smart devices at home and on the move, so if they can be used in the office, then they are bound to feel more comfortable and confident in the office space. 

As discussed here, Millennials favor a collaborative work style, so when it comes to office design, open office layouts where ideas can easily be shared with their colleagues are a must. This can also extend to the technologies that Millennials use, as through video conferencing, social media messaging, and cloud-based project management tools, Millennials will have opportunities to communicate with their peers more closely. 

An office space should also be conducive to the environment, as Millennials are the first generation to have grown up surrounded by talk of climate change and global warming. In one survey, it transpired that some Millennials would willingly take a pay cut if it meant choosing a sustainable company over one that wasn’t. So, this is something employers need to consider, perhaps by taking steps to create a paperless office, and by implementing green policies with regards to recycling, energy usage, and food waste. This isn’t that difficult to accomplish either. You just have to have a CEO that understands the needs of the workforce in today’s times. 

Health matters are also of concern to Millennials today especially with all of the uncertainty going on in our world today. Many are starting to realize that they have been described in some quarters as the Wellness Generation. This is especially true in matters related to mental health, which is a subject employees now feel more able to talk about as it has become less of a taboo in workplaces today. In an office space, wider and more open designs can do much to improve the mental health of an employee, as can break rooms that are fitted out with features that are conducive to fun and relaxation. Millennials also care about their general wellness, so such things as standing desks and better-ventilated office spaces are a must for any business owner looking to attract the Millennial workforce.

Why do Millennials leave jobs?

As stated in a 2017 workforce report, Millennials will quit a job if they feel they aren’t doing something that matters, if their skills aren’t being utilized, and if they don’t feel as if they are developing professionally. They might also leave if they can get a better job elsewhere, or if another career becomes more attractive. There are other factors, as can be seen in the linked article. 

These factors have repercussions in the office environment, as changes will need to be made. So, if an employeer made green changes in the office, for example, the Millennial might might be more willing to stick around as attempts had been made to impact the world positively. If technologies were implemented to enhance the skills of an employee, the Millennial might feel better about staying in their job. And if changes were made in the office space to support the wellbeing of the employees working within, then there would be less people wanting to leave because of stress and other health-related matters. 

Are Millennials job hoppers?

The answer to this question is yes, as can be discovered in the workforce surveys carried out by Gallup. According to one such survey, 21% of Millennials said they had changed jobs within the last year, and 60% of Millennials said they would be willing to look for other job opportunities if their needs could be better met elsewhere. Again, this is a warning to business owners, as unlike those employed in the baby boomer generation, today’s workforce is not willing to stick around for a company that does little to care for their greater needs. You can avoid this with a few simple things virtual on the job training, employee benefit plans, and also stock options. 

How long do Millennials stay in a job?

As reported by The Independent (quoting a survey taken by Deloitte), job expectancy is somewhere between 2 and 5 years, which further cements the job-hopping reality of the Millennial workforce today. No longer prepared to work for companies who fail to support their professional and moral interests, Millennials are ready and willing to move on whenever they feel the need. 

How do I make my workplace Millennial-friendly?

So, what about you? How can you make your workplace Millennial-friendly? Well, you can take note of the suggestions already given in this article for starters. If you can ‘green up’ your office, provide collaborative workspaces, and invest in those technologies that will benefit both your business and the needs of your employees, then you can do much to attract today’s Millennial workforce. We have recently implemented new systems like SLACK and Microsoft teams to collaborate efficiently.  You should also take the professional development of your employees seriously, so this might mean incorporating training areas within your premises to increase the capabilities of your workforce. Also don’t forget to protect your employees’ mental health, you should incorporate break areas around your workplace, perhaps with opportunities to let off steam, such as the inclusion of gym and leisure-related features. By taking each of these steps, you can do much to create a meaningful and rewarding workplace for your Millennial employees. 

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