Aside from being purveyors of avocado toast and man buns, the infamous “millennial” has yielded some interesting changes in commercial construction. Particularly as this generation finds their placement in the workforce, there are some major trends that have stuck to design and construction in office spaces worth talking about. As recruiting and fostering top talent remain a priority, these driven groups are a target that hiring decision makers understand the value in keeping pleased in an office environment. So, what are the needs and values in a work setting to this thought-provoking demographic? Look no further.
I scanned through several articles that all pointed towards the same areas of top priority:
– Taking branding elements beyond the dot com: branded workspace design
Work Design Magazine explores the ways that an office design aligned with branding strategy does much more than simply look nice, especially for brand-loyal millennials. Some experts make the case that this extension of branding into a corporate environment makes organizational values clear, and employees more in touch with a unified mission. Work Design Mag specifies that “Research shows the workplace environment accounts for as much as 25 percent of job satisfaction, and can affect performance by as much as 5 percent for individuals and 11 percent for teams.” With effectiveness on the line, many organizations make the push for this extra boost—especially while trying to maintain morale of a millennial staff.
This effort can be made from a construction team that assembles branded signage, installs finishes within a brand’s color scheme, and integrates furniture compliant with brand guidelines. Many offices involve murals and artwork that support their core values.
– Unique food and drink areas
With the hours invested in a work space, millennials among other generations, are intrigued by food and drink conveniences that make their experience a bit more enjoyable. In trendier industries, it’s not strange to have a bar, coffee/espresso, and alcoholic beverage options available for workers.
– Consideration for work-life balance
Millennials are largely health-conscious, placing a substantial value on exercise, work-life balance, and mental health. This is especially important in an office setting, while some may value proximity to a gym in combination with their office location, ability to commute via bicycle, or time-off as important determinants of where these groups can work best—physically and mentally.
– Windows on windows on windows
Natural light is a somewhat unexpected area of importance for millennials. In commercial construction as a whole, this is an area gaining a big more traction in current/design-forward spaces. The benefits of natural light are pretty eye-opening:
o enhanced information retention
o tendency towards more creativity
o decreased sick time
o improved mood and overall health
– Individual Worker Footprint
Recently, there’s been quite a bit of back and forth on the concept of open layouts and what is considered the most functional. As a whole, it’s been seen that shared spaces and open areas are conducive to information exchange and collaboration, but there is a privacy hindrance that is a serious setback in employee comfort. A happy medium between the two extremes is a good start to remaining open while respecting individual worker space.
Business News Daily points out that “One of the greatest benefits of a well-designed workspace, which offers privacy in the office, is an increase in engagement and productivity among workers. Of the 11 percent of survey respondents who were highly satisfied with their work environments, the majority (88 percent or more) said their workplaces allowed them to concentrate easily, work in teams without being interrupted, choose where to work based on their tasks, and feel a sense of belonging to the company and its culture.”