Millennials are considered by many to be the first generation since the 60’s to come with their own set of preferences as to what they desire in regards to various aspects of their daily life – including their work environment. An interesting position to take, considering the ups and downs of the economy, but this group of individuals also bring the technology, innovative thinking, and energy to the table, creating a very competitive recruiting atmosphere in which their desires must be taken into account.
For this reason, companies are working to understand what does and does not appeal to this latest generation to join the workforce. Office space is being specifically designed and re-designed to attract these highly sought-after workers. Large, closed-in office space with more doors than windows is quickly losing popularity in favor of open work areas with space for collaboration over traditional conference rooms.
Desks which can be raised to accommodate employees who prefer standing part of their workday are being introduced, along with desks that stand over working treadmills to encourage a healthier environment. Smart boards are being used to record brainstorming notes, and then send them to a computer or printer with the press of a button.
In addition, on-site fitness centers complete with showers are now common in many businesses. Millennials are researching potential employer locations to determine what amenities they currently provide “on campus”. Are there bike racks? Are there walking trails? Are restaurants and retail shopping options within walking distance? Are mass-transit drop points within walking or biking distance from the office? The millennial generation is known for living a healthier lifestyle with an affinity for convenience. Speaking of convenience, another popular feature with millennials at the workplace is a resident concierge to handle things like travel arrangements, massage appointments, pick up/delivery of dry-cleaning and order in lunches.
You may ask yourself, “Do they really need all that?” A better question would be “Does my company really need all that?” There are several things to consider here:
- Is it more cost efficient to retrofit your current space or to simply give up your current office and move to a more modern facility?
- Would the increased and improved collaboration from a more modern work environment lead to more innovative thinking and creativity among teams?
- Does your business model dictate a more traditional or forward-thinking atmosphere?
- Which type of environment will appeal more to your clients / customers / business partners?
- How do you want your company to be viewed – both internally and externally – by your competitors, your peers, your current and future employees?
That’s right, take a look at your competitors and peer companies. What are they doing? Ask your employees for their opinion on the current work environment and any suggested improvements. Write down a list of amenities your office has to offer new recruits. Is it enough? If you were interviewing with your company today for a job, would it be enough for you? Answers to these questions might provide you with some ideas for change, even small changes, which could be very important to fueling your business growth in regards to your workforce.
CAI delivers HR, compliance, and people development solutions to 1,100+ NC companies to help them build engaged, well-managed and low-risk workplaces. Contact us to find out how we can help your company.
CAI’s Advice & Resolution Advisor Renee Watkins is a seasoned HR professional with a diverse background in Human Resource. Renee provides CAI members with practical advice in a wide range of human resource functions including conflict resolution, compliance and regulatory issues, and employee relations.