Office design is crucial to the success of every business. You want a workplace that matches with your employee base. If you have a millennial workplace, which most companies do today, you need to adapt. What is the blueprint for the millennial workplace? How can you be sure you meet their needs? You need to connect with each employee, figure out what they value, and it begins with knowing the make-up of your workforce.
Pay Attention to the Workforce
You craft a millennial workplace by knowing who employees are and what they want. Millennials, by definition, are individuals born between 1981 and 1996. According to studies, there are over 70 million Millennials. The fact is that millennials are the largest group of individuals in the workplace. When thinking of office design, you want to tailor to the majority.
A lot of facts exist to the importance of trying to retain millennials, trying to keep them within your company. When they move, it costs you money. When millennials lack engagement, the productivity of your business goes down.
According to Gallup, millennials lack engagement more than any other group in the workforce. These individuals also change jobs more often. Turnover from these jobs costs tens of billions annually. In order to retain these millennials, to give them a work environment sparking engagement, you must need their needs. Office design is an integral part of achieving the retention and engagement sought.
Features Supporting the Millennial Lifestyle
Technology – Technology is at the forefront of everything a millennial accomplishes. Individuals in this generation expect technology everywhere. They feel most comfortable with access to the Internet. You need an office design that has technology at every corner. Features such as wireless internet are an absolute must. Other set-ups, though, such as easy access to docking stations, many monitors, all make it easier for millennials to plug in with engagement. Technology must be everywhere.
Open College-Style Design – The millennial workspace is an open concept. No one wants to sit in a cubicle alone all day long. The walls must come down, there must be open collaboration opportunities. The college-style open concept is important for millennials. Most do not even want a set desk for each day. Working in an open space where they can choose a new seat daily, figure out what will work best for them each morning, is nice. Couple the open concept with abilities for storage. Think small lockers where individuals can store their personal items at the end of each day. No millennial wants to lug around a backpack full of their gear.
Food and Beverage Stations – You will want food and beverage as a big factor in your millennial workspace design. if you have not seen the open concepts where employees work in a cafeteria type setting all day, look it up online! Food and beverage are amenities on-site. You want them right there and available. When millennials have to venture out for an hour to get lunch, to go get a coffee, it takes their engagement and interest away from the task. Millennials are working more hours than any other generation. Make it comfortable and keep them well-fed, with plenty of caffeine, to support their work habits!
Natural Light – You want an office design that allows for more natural light. Get the maximal daylight possible. Avoid having private offices and meeting rooms on the outside of the building. These spaces consume all-natural light, making the middle workspace areas dark and gloomy. Employees do not want to ignore the outdoors, but rather enjoy those common areas and workspaces along where everyone can see the light!
Noise Control – In the spirit of open concept, engagement, and collaboration, noise control is paramount. If you have an office design that requires individuals to plop in headphones all day, it is a fail. Ambient noise and controlling the levels of it can allow millennial workspace setups to thrive. Go in an office and check out if everyone has headphones in. If they do, it means the design is a failure. You want employees to feel comfortable with the surrounding noises.
Environmentally Friendly – The concept of sustainability is important for the millennial workspace. Millennials contain the goal of seeking businesses that focus on people, not profit. This generation wants businesses to hone in on their employees, be customer-centric, and care about society as well. The sustainability factor impacts the office design significantly for millennials.
Design With Nature – Design an office space with nature top of mind. Employees may not be able to get outside often. If an employee lacks engagement, though, a walk outdoors helps! Work the office design to be inclusive of nature. Encourage employees to go on a “walking meeting” outside. Design the space to incorporate nature and bring it in, rather than shutting it out!
Designing Through Discovery
The Aura Office design model is all about going through a discovery-centric journey. Everyone has an idea of what the office will look like, but applying that is difficult. Could you have a group of four people all clearly, and individually, draw out the same design based on your ideas? The discovery journey allows the team to work with Aura to craft an office design that everyone approves, that works for the millennial force. Taking account of everything from texture to areas, environment to furniture, and style lets your design win with every employee.
It does not stop with the initial design either. Get into the habit of active improvements in the workspace. Invest over time so the design works today, but it also continues to work a decade from now as your workforce evolves. The design of an office contributes to employee happiness. Make it paramount. Quality coffee, controlling the noise, keeping it open concept can all help you will over each millennial in your force.