The millennial generation is arguably the most talked-about and publicized generation we have seen in our lifetime. Their activism and unique perspective on social issues have brought notable changes in business and the workplace.
Now the largest generation in the U.S. labor force, creating an appealing office environment for millennials to work efficiently is imperative for positive business outcomes.
I consulted Century Office, a leading UK office and contract furniture supplier, to better understand how to design a more millennial-friendly workplace. They have put together an infographic with some easy-to-implement ideas, including:
Having open spaces.
Millennials like open spaces that allow them to team up and work with others instead of conventional desks or cubicles, which feels restrictive. They prefer an open layout in which their surroundings and co-workers are visible and accessible to interact with, which improves collaboration and gets better results.
Incorporating natural lighting.
The positive health benefits of sunlight are innumerable. According to a recent study, incorporating natural light in an office space reduces eye strain and improves mood. In fact, fewer complaints of employees about feeling drowsy or having headaches were reported.
Plants clean the air, help to reduce stress, increase productivity, and make workspaces more attractive to new millennial job applicants. Plants help make your office space a more desirable place to work as it is filled with positive vibes. Get low-maintenance plants that can thrive in medium-low light such as peace lily. Some other common office plants include Devil's Ivy, aglos, weeping fig, snake plant, dracaena, and a variety of cacti plants.
Using bright colors.
Conventionally, the colors gray, beige, and white have been associated with office space and millennials find it to be quite dull and boring. Research shows that office space needs to have bright colors that uplift your employee's mood to get their creative juices flowing and generate peak performance. Graphics and artwork is another way of adding bright colors to the workplace if the current theme does not allow you to change wall paint.
Allowing for a 'Dogs at Work' policy.
While not exactly an office design strategy, this employee perk in the infographic caught my attention because having pets at work is especially popular with millennials, forcing the hand of decision-makers to be more inclusive of pets. Google, Amazon, and Ben & Jerry's are a few large companies with Dogs at Work policies in place. "Employers are starting to realize that having a millennial bring ... a pet to work, you wind up getting a more focused employee, you get someone more comfortable at the office and a person willing to work longer hours," said Bob Vetere, president, and CEO of the American Pet Products Association, in an interview with CNBC.
Finally, you might be surprised to learn that about 20% of millennials reportedly mentioned poor office design the reason for turning down a job.