We’re currently in a period where it’s possible for businesses to have four different generations in their workforce - silents, baby boomers, generation X and millennials. Having said that, the largest working generation is now the millennials and by 2020, they will make up close to 50 per cent off the UK workforce. Here, Mark Brown, Director at Lismark Office Products, discusses possible features to incorporate in office design to attract and retain millennials.
Why your office needs to appeal to millennials
For almost every industry, recruiting the best new talent is high up on the list of targets. Millennials will soon be the majority in the office so businesses need to invest sooner or later in an office design and atmosphere for this generation.
A 2018 study found that over a fifth of millennials have turned their back on a job offer simply because of poor workplace design and atmosphere. Despite what you might think, there are some simple additions you can make that it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here are some tips for creating such an environment:
For millennials, an office space needs to encourage communication and engagement in discussions with co-workers and this has led the move from cubicles, which by their nature restrict interaction. Businesses should strive to create an office that encourages employees to move around and talk to each other without feeling confined to the limits of their desks.
The possibilities for collaborative areas are endless and it’s recommended to have more than just one flexible space. A well-designed office will make the most of every available bit of space. Forward-thinking companies will adjust previously neglected spaces into areas for productivity meetings and brain storming sessions. Even corridors shouldn’t escape the realms of possibility, with stools, coffee tables and bean bags able to fit into most.
Make the office a home
Resembling a home away from home, a breakout space in the office should have home comforts and entertainment features that enhance company culture and make those long shifts more enjoyable.
The best thing is to ask what your young workers would like added to your office, but general ideas include pool tables, coffee machines, games consoles and social game rooms.
Alternative colour schemes and unconventional soft furnishings will make your office space stand out and present the company as creative. Think indoor trees, mind maps, bean bags, artwork, chalk boards, board games - the options are limitless and much of it will depend on your company’s ethos.
Studies have shown that millennials tend to spend an average of two years in the same work place, down from generation X’s average of five years. Alongside other incentives such as competitive wages and opportunities for career progression, creating the desired office space is another way in which companies can retain young talent.