Part Two: Attracting and Retaining Millennials in the Workplace

  • Millennials make up more than one-third of the American labor force, and by 2025, Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce. (Pew Research Center)
  • 46% of Millennials claim that flexibility and adaptability are the most critical employee characteristics for successful businesses. (Deloitte)
  • Ethosource designs impactful and innovative furniture to help you attract and retain quality talent.

Once upon a time, offices were filled with rows and rows of identical cubicles, forcing employees of all ages, titles, and responsibilities to conform to a one-size-fits-all working style. They would come in, sit down at their desk, and get to work while counting down the afternoon hours until their 5 pm freedom. The workplace was simply a location that separated personal life from work life. The workplace was just that — a place of work.

But over the years, the workplace evolved. Employees began to expect more flexibility and demand opportunities to work in different ways. And companies began to realize that building a meaningful culture was too important in keeping those employees happy and productive. Now, the workplace has no real definition. It has become an innovative and collaborative environment all driven by the energy of the employees inside.

And who is driving this monumental shift? Millennials. This demographic comprises a majority of today’s workforce with the anticipation of only expanding their takeover up to 75% over the next few years. But in addition to their higher standards and expectations, Millennials also bring forward new ways of working and thinking that have proven incredibly valuable to companies and their cultures. And having the right office design is a major part of not only attracting quality talent in this demographic but also making them want to stay.

Looking to the Future

Many business leaders are now forced to compete with the enticing benefits of remote work. As we see more companies adopting hybrid and virtual structures, designing a workplace that employees look forward to going to each day is more important than ever. Millennials have made it clear that a thoughtful office design is important to them. They value authenticity, personalization, and versatility. They want to feel that their employers understand and care about their needs, so buying a ping pong or foosball table isn’t going to cut it. It’s time to make creating a functional and efficient workspace work as a recruiting tool.

In Part Two of our Workplace Design for Recruiting series, we’re looking at different ways you can create a workspace that effectively reflect the values that Millennials really care about. Let’s get into it.

FOUR WAYS TO DESIGN FOR MILLENNIALS:

 

  • Take Your Tech to the Next Level

    The truth is, most Millennials have better technology in their own home than what their workplace provides. They’ve grown up with the evolving complexity of technology, so their knowledge of these features exceeds most common workplace computers. Integrating the latest technologies and tools into your office design is not only what Millennials are looking for, but it’s now what they expect.

     

    Focus on collaborative technology like live-chat communication platforms or an internal email. This gives employees the ability to communicate quickly and effectively, which increases productivity and reduces delays in workflow. It also offers more opportunities for remote or hybrid employees to feel connected to co-located employees.

     

    Look into your options for “smart” furniture, such as standing desks or smart boards, to encourage innovative collaboration and healthy work styles. Many of today’s workstations and benching systems are now fully equipped for technology integration, making it easy for different employees to hook up their tech and work in different spaces throughout the day or week. Adopting these changes will show that your company is looking out for the unique needs of each employee and can adapt to change.

     

    In the end, effective workplace technologies help everyone. Whether updating is to recruit Millennials or to transition experienced Boomers into the 21st century, forward-thinking in the digital age offers flexibility for all employees.

  • Remember Healthy Means Happy

    A healthy lifestyle drives a lot of Millennial decisions. And that includes a workspace that can cater to those needs. In a study by Deloitte, 33% of Millennials said that their physical and mental health is their primary causes of stress. Providing a workplace with furniture and resources that prioritize employee well-being is a major recruitment advantage when it comes to a younger generation of talent.

     

    Many companies have created open, outdoor spaces for their employees to go to decompress. An outdoor area allows employees to reset and get some fresh air, or it can be a space where they gather with co-workers to collaborate. Consider treadmill desks, modular seating and storage, café spaces or lounges, and adjustable keyboard trays and monitors.

     

    Millennials especially appreciate an emphasis on mental health being as important as the physical, so quiet rooms can also be extremely beneficial to helping people refocus or take a break. It’s important to remember that not all employees work the same, so as great as communal areas are in boosting creativity and teamwork, private spaces should also be considered during the design process.

  • Get a Little Color Happy

    Office spaces that have bright colors are proven to boost creativity and performance by employees (The University of Texas at Austin). Millennials find conventional office colors to be boring and unmotivating, so think about carefully choosing colors and patterns to create a more inspiring place to be.

     

    Beyond that, attractive workspaces show your company culture. Branding goes beyond business cards and brochures, and your office is the perfect place to integrate your brand’s color schemes and logos. You can effectively communicate your brand through the fabrics, paints, screens, and materials that you choose for your space, which will help promote a sense of unity and pride in the company they represent.

  • Make it More About Them

    No shocker here — Millennials want to feel valued. They look for a company that respects them and embraces a culture that keeps them at the core of new ideas and processes. In a study by RMJM, 82% of employees believe that workplace design directly correlates to workplace culture. And having an accessible office space puts your employees first, something that they value immensely.

     

    Millennials are mindful of the amount of time they spend at work, as finding a work/life balance has become increasingly important. If you create a space that feels welcoming and comfortable with a design that encourages social interaction as well as privacy and individualization, they’ll feel more at home — and less likely to count the minutes to 5 pm.

Always ask questions. Get their opinions on different design changes and even simple aesthetics like artwork and décor. Give them a small selection of seating or accessories to choose from for their personal space. The more their input is involved in the space around them, the more they’ll feel a part of the culture that’s being fostered there.

Obviously, an office design that represents and values your employees can be a major advantage in recruiting and retaining young talent that shares your company vision, while highlighting your company’s brand and culture. If you’re looking for an upgrade, Ethosource can help you maximize your current office investment as you bring it back to life for today’s workers. Contact us to help you navigate these new expectations in your workplace design.