There is no perfect solution to today’s choice and layout of office space as every company is unique. One size does not fit all. Your employees are the best guide to achieve success and avoid serious errors. Millennials, for example, are very vocal about their preferences and expectations. Since I belong to this age group, as well as many of my friends, I have chit-chatted with a few of them wanting to understand what do they want from their workspace – below you will find some of the most common answers.
Every business owner wants a productive environment and one that retains valuable employees. You want to keep the best people and attract new talent. The right office space is a definite factor here. Millennials, those born in the early eighties to the late nineties, know what they want and insist on getting it. They are good workers when given their ideal environment and the opportunity for a work/life balance.
Many companies seeking this cohort are changing their attitudes toward the workplace. Here are the various ways they have adapted it to Millennials’ needs.
Strict rules and hours are anathema to Millennials who want a better work/life balance. While it may be hard to implement a flexible work structure, you are likely to see greater productivity and employee contentment. Few of the younger generations care to abide by the old nine to five schedule. They will even work late or at home if necessary. This is their positive reaction to flexibility.
Part of the flexibility package is free access to the work space as needed. Employees can come early at will or stay late. Plus, they can work at home with their mobiles and laptops to enhance project completion. It is more about quality of work than where it is executed.
Go for the open office
Companies that value collaboration establish an open office to facilitate the exchange of ideas. This is not a new idea, but one to consider first and foremost for your Millennials. It isn’t always effective if employees feel pressured to socialize. Many like to work independently and with privacy. Some say the open office is distracting and noisy. Perhaps allowing for a combination of open and private space is the answer.
Special meeting rooms can satisfy all needs and they aren’t to be mandatory. It depends on the workforce and their habits. A company that customizes its space will show greater collaboration and productivity in the long run. It is important to permit unplanned get-togethers and reserve space for quiet time. Let people do as they please.
Install the best technology
Only the latest and greatest technology will satisfy Millennials. They are quite adept with newer equipment and expect constant upgrading and updating. Technology is the essence of their lives. They are used to dramatic changes and the need to be on the cutting edge. Slow speed internet will create havoc in the workplace.
Modern companies must budget for new technology. At the worst, they can permit employees to bring their own devices. Decide whether going this route achieves workforce satisfaction. Don’t assume that saving money is always the answer. It is all about productivity and profits.
Add amenities to the work space
Happy employees are long-term staff and special amenities in the office can ensure retention and satisfaction. Amenities like lounges, kitchens, gyms, and washrooms will pay for themselves in productivity. Millennials know what they want in the way of personal perks. They might like free parking or transportation, snacks and lunch, and pet or child care. Don’t be surprised if some of your staff want to bring kids and pets to work. Only you can know if the corporate culture can handle it.
It is certainly about budget, but it is also clear that spending on amenities will bring rewards. Coffee and soda machines are worth their weight in gold. Seminars and tutorials are also highly valued to help the Millennials grow in their expertise. Career enhancement is a major goal of this group and is not to be overlooked. Abide by these suggestions and watch your workforce thrive.
Community as the powerful tool for retaining tenants
Everyone wants more benefits in the workplace, especially Millennials. Communication is key to a successful building operation as tenant feedback can improve services. Landlords can benefit from the information they receive to improve systems and benefits. Occupants appreciate the opportunity to provide input and have a say in their environment. Through apps, a property comes to life as a living organism.
It was rare in the old days to show concern for individual tenants. Management operated on the base of prescribed systems and goals. Yes, they fixed what was broken but they showed little interest in perks and special events. Through the new platforms, they can stay in touch with and bond with the building community. Everyone benefits and a positive experience is ensured. Spaceflow has the analytic tools to enhance the process. It can address a lack or excess of space, the need for a workout room, or a better employee lounge. Managers employing this service can make more-informed decisions to enhance tenant retention.
Why office space providers need to pay more attention to building a community around their offices? SPACEFLOW has outlined few key reasons in their latest blog post:
• Brand awareness and growth. The main reason companies engage with their audience is to gain popularity and engagement, and eventually grow. Spreading the word by faithful community members is one of the most effective ways to raise your brand awareness. And do not forget – a community is part of a business strategy, not only a marketing strategy!
• Retention. People who are engaged in a community are more likely to become long-term customers. The same stands for your tenants.
• Relevant feedback. If your community is healthy, community member will more likely give a relevant feedback and insights on how you could improve your product or service because they care about it.
To wrap it up, knowing your users or clients is the key to successful business, from merchandise to real estate. Hence, the upcoming CCCSEE conference in October is THE place to mingle with people from the industry and to meet bunch of millennials and get some first-hand insights on how their needs drive changes in the way we live and work 🙂 I myself, as a millennial, will be more than happy to have a chat and introduce you to some of the most important features and amenities your workplace has to have in order to be millennial-friendly. See you there!
Katarina has been involved in Real Estate, office sector from the beginning of her professional career, being part of the first digital real estate company (Online Real Assets) and independent office search network in CEE region – Officerentinfo where she bring together office searchers with all kinds of office space providers, Katarina is actively engaged in digital branding and community building activities of commercial real estate players making sure that office buildings and coworking spaces have a representative and highly engaging online presence as well as an active community that will improve their occupancy and retention rates. She is tenant at one of the oldest co-working communities in Budapest, Hungary – Kaptar and hopes to bring this concept even closer to people in SEE region 🙂