Attracting millennial talent in today’s age requires thinking outside the box when it comes to office design. It’s not necessary to completely reinvent the wheel. Millennials have certain expectations and demands when it comes to the office space they want to work in, but that doesn’t mean employers have to bend over backwards to accommodate them.
Rather, it’s more about taking the time to apply a few creative office design decisions in different parts of the workspace, which will actually have a net positive effect for everyone. With a little bit of planning and execution, employers can craft an office space that attracts both ambitious millennial workers, as well as Gen Xers and baby boomers.
CREATE A LAID-BACK ATMOSPHERE
Many employers get the wrong idea when they hear this particular suggestion, thinking it will lead to decreased production, lazy employees, and a knock to the bottom line. In reality, a laid-back atmosphere inside the workplace can have positive effects when it comes to worker morale. The more relaxed an employee is, the more enthusiastic they tend to feel about their work. Concentration levels spike, while disorientation, fatigue and stress plummet. That can only lead to beneficial results.
As such, it’s important to decide just what “laid back” means within the context of your particular office and company culture. Companies that focus on creative products or services such as media would do well to layer the office with a casual atmosphere, so those brains can keep coming up with new ideas. By contrast, a prestigious law office may need to implement a stricter approach, so as not to give the wrong impression to clients.
BRAND YOUR OFFICE SPACE
It’s far too easy for companies to simply rent a space or cut ground on a new building, and then get to work without any established aesthetic inside the office space. Creating a workplace defined by its own company culture and brand is an important step towards attracting millennial attention. This generation truly wants to be a part of the company they’re working for, as opposed to just another cog in the proverbial machine.
Employees should be able to take pride in the company they’re working for, which means that crafting a “branded” office space is integral. Imagine the enthusiasm workers must feel when going to work every day, only to be greeted by a themed office that speaks to the company’s own values and goals. It’s not about marketing your company to your employees, but rather, making them feel like they’re a vital part of the mission.
TRY TO STAY CLOSE TO PUBLIC TRANSIT
Work/life balance is very important to millennial workers, which means it pays to set up shop near public transit services, such as subways. Employees want to get from home to work, and back again, in the least amount of time possible. This cuts down on stress, and provides more time for millennials to spend with their families, and their own pursuits.
Typically, these kinds of locations are found in central/financial business districts, specifically in large cities. However, even smaller cities and towns tend to have a business hub that just so happens to run adjacent to public transit services. Minimizing the time it takes to migrate from the transit system to the office can attract millennial talent very efficiently.
KEEP IT SIMPLE AND EFFICIENT
While the millennial generation tends to take some flack for appearing too demanding, that’s usually a misread. In truth, most millennials are less concerned with flaunting their position or status within a company, and more focused on doing their jobs as efficiently, and enjoyably, as possible.
This means companies don’t need to splurge for exotic corner offices, nor do they need to grant millennial employees a large space of their own. In fact, these employees will probably spend less time at their desks than any previous generation, which means simplistic and efficient office designs are the way to go. Millennials, like many workers today, will spend a great deal of time on their laptops, which can be ported around the office with ease. You’re just as likely to find them working diligently in the break room, as well as at their desk.
KEEP THE COFFEE FLOWING
These days, a well-stocked break room goes a long way towards attracting millennials. Having freshly baked goods like muffins at the ready can boost morale, and give employees a reason to pause and take a break. They’ll also expect the coffee to keep flowing, and it’s wise to have some premium blends on tap to rejuvenate the senses, banish fatigue, and encourage productivity.
More casual offices might even consider having a bar installed, though the availability of alcoholic beverages does come with its own set of risks, and should generally be avoided. Besides, there’s always a bar or two nearby for employees to visit once the work day is over.
The use of natural light within a workspace continues to be one of the most sought-after things millennials look for. Don’t even bother with fluorescent lights, as they come with a negative perception attached by default. Large open windows with tons of natural lighting is the preferred standard, and for good reason. Studies have shown that it greatly boosts morale, and makes employees feel more productive.
If your particular office has a nice view, make sure to exploit it to your advantage in order to attract, and retain the best talent. Natural lighting can quickly become one of your workplace’s best attributes.
Millennials might have a few more demands than previous generations of workers, but many of them yield positive results. By implementing these design elements into your workplace, you can attract the best millennial talent, not to mention talent from every other generation of worker who will be glad to be part of such a great brand.
For more information on how you can make your office more appealing to millennials, contact us today, and we’ll be happy to answer any and all questions!