With more than one third of the global workforce that comprises of millenials, do you know what it takes to attract and retain this group of future leaders?
Distinctively different from the baby boomers of the earlier generations who have been defined as traditionalists in the workplace and more accustomed to adhering to rules; millenials are more creative, tech-savvy and possess strong entrepreneurial spirit. They are avid seekers of work-life balance, which makes them less receptive to the traditional nine-to-five work schedule.
As a business owner or human resources manager of your company, it is essential to step up and try out new ways to optimize your office space that meets the preferences of your millennial staff. This will greatly benefit your efforts to attract and keep your best millennial employees on board your business sail ship.
It takes more than just having comfortable work desks and chairs to create a successful, millennial-friendly work environment. A mindset shift and a lot more thought need to be put into the planning process as well.
Here are 5 different office design trends that you can embrace to win over your millennial staff:
- Break Out Areas – Millenials gravitate towards open-concept office layouts instead of traditional cubicles with partitions, mainly because they are more inclined towards communal style of working, which supports more open communication with other colleagues. Incorporating trendy breakout areas with laid-back interiors and adaptable furniture systems will help encourage more creativity, focus and teamwork to take place amongst millennial staff.
Quick Tip: Millenials love to feel at home in their workplaces and one easy way to do this is to create a cozy pantry area or social area where staff can mingle, relax and socialize and enhance bonding amongst employees.
- Effective Utilization – With the increasing use of technology to get work done, it is not uncommon to find flexi-work arrangements being implemented in more and more companies. This reflects the lesser demand for fixed work stations for employees, and give rise to opportunity for hot desks, i.e. sharing of work desks amongst a few staff. Along with fewer work desks needed, the size of each workstation is also shrinking in size, simply because of the bulk of documents being digitized and slimmer computer notebooks are being used instead of chunky CPUs, which are now a thing of the past.
Quick Tip: Choose modular work desk units with lower wall panels that allow employees to retain some privacy and quiet time to focus on their individual work, while maintaining an open line of communication and feeling of communal space between other colleagues.
- Recreational Facilities – With more focus on work-life balance through healthier lifestyles, millenials would appreciate having some form of light recreational facilities or activities that can be incorporated into the office environment. For example, a Ping-Pong table for some light batting fun or having a mini fitness room for yoga or zumba classes that encourage interaction with colleagues on a lighter note while keeping fit.
Quick Tip: Set up a recreational team with mini interest groups to facilitate a variety of fitness activities, such as running/cycling events that bring staff and even their families together for more interaction and bonding.
- Social Wall – One clever and low-cost way to engage with your millennial staff is to designate a wall area for them to share their thoughts and ideas that could spark new projects for the company. This could also form the company’s ‘vision board’, where key milestones or annual goals are put up in pictures and words to align everyone onto the same path. It can also serve as motivation to keep millenials going when the going gets tough. And of course, do remember to keep the social element alive, with sharing of pictures of any company activities or events that spell fun and laughter for everyone.
Quick Tip: Select a theme on a monthly or quarterly basis so that all staff can participate and contribute their ideas, thoughts or any relevant materials onto this social wall.
- Holistic Company Culture – This may be a little abstract but millenials tend to be more purpose-driven and place great value on the company’s culture being expressed distinctively through every point of interaction with the company, including the office premises. This requires the careful integration of all of the above points, where the millennial staff can feel and experience the company’s culture in a very tangible way whenever they are in the office.
Quick Tip: Take time to implement as many of the above office design trends and you will be well on your way to winning your millennial staff’s heart and mind!
For more ideas and insights into the latest office trends for your millennial staff, enquire with Wilsin’s professional team to optimize your office space and create your ideal layout to attract and retain this vibrant group of employees for your company’s continued success!