The movement of a new generation of workers into the professional marketplace over the past few years has catalysed a shift in the way we work and the requirements of a modern workspace. Tradition is becoming less and less prevalent as millennials take over the workplace and bring with them an increased desire to learn, develop professionally, communicate on a more equal playing field and function more freely.
As we know, new ways of working mean new perspectives on design so it will come as no surprise that Gen Y seem to be looking for some more advanced features in the places they choose to work. Prospective employees have more control than ever before – millennials are more fluid and willing to move from job to job than previous generations so companies are now having to do more and offer more to attract and retain new talent.
It can be difficult for older, Gen X employees to accept or even understand these modern outlooks and new ways of working. They have become so accustomed to tradition that breaking the mould can be daunting and even seem like a threat towards their position in the company. However, as a team it’s important to pull together to amalgamate Gen X and Gen Y in order to foster a workplace that will retain all positive aspects of existing processes while still embracing evolution in order to attract new talent.
Next, we’re going to explore exactly what it is this new talent is on the lookout for…
What do millennials want from a workplace?
We recently came across a very interesting article in Mix Interiors magazine which was showcasing results from a survey of 2,000 UK office workers Mindspace ran in conjunction with OnePoll. It revealed that more than 30% of Britons are becoming increasingly bored with their existing office environment, with 28% reportedly saying that their workspace is ‘outdated and dull’.
Other significant stats demonstrated that:
- 21% of 18-24 year olds have rejected a potential employer on account of poor office design or lack of amenities
- 16% of 18-24 year olds have actually left a job due to a poorly-design workspace
- 34% of 18-24 year olds are willing to commute for up to an hour each way for an office that suits their requirements.
So, what are these desirable features that millennials are putting so high on their priority list? According to the results from the Mindspace report…
With 82% of the UK workers surveyed working from the same office 5 days a week and 80% stationed at the same desk every single day, it’s essential that companies provide not only the basic requirements but also the work perks that appeal to millennials. Natural light, air conditioning and improved interior lighting were also cited as popular factors workers desire in Mindspace’s report but we’ve come up with a few ideas of our own about what Gen Y might want from a workplace…
Nearly half (46%) of those surveyed by Mindspace said that there is no, or little collaboration between teams and departments in their workplace. However, a study by Intelligence Group found that collaboration is extremely important to millennials. The research revealed that 88% of millennials would rather work in collaborative environment over a competitive one so it’s essential that companies start catering for these new synergetic ways of working. See our article on how to design a collaborative workspace for inspiration on how to create this type of space within the office.
Open channels of communication
As well as inspiring creativity and boosting efficiency, collaborative workspaces are also an effective way of removing any intimidation or communication blockers which come as a result of the workplace hierarchy. According to Intelligence Group’s research, 79% of millennials would rather their boss take on less managerial role and instead serve as a coach or mentor, which demonstrates a shift in the workspace dynamic. Incorporating social spaces, breakout areas or a WorkCafe in your workplace design will provide the perfect platforms for this type of casual, relaxed communication regardless of status.
Contribution to local charities
The study by Intelligence Group also showed that 64% of millennials want to make the world a better place so company charity work is a great way to satisfy this modern requirement. At Penketh Group, charity is a subject close to all of our hearts which is why employees are offered the chance to nominate a charity of their choice at the end of each year for a company donation.
Integrated work and private life
A substantial 88% of millennials surveyed by Intelligence Group agreed that they want to see more work-life integration so if companies are going to attract and retain this younger talent, it’s time to start considering their personal lives more. Long gone are the days of 9-5 working and a distinct segregation between private and professional lives so offering things like a pet-friendly office, flexible working hours and free gym membership will help strike this all-important balance.