What Millennials Really Want in their Office Environments

 Photo credit: Krista Tippett Public Productions

Photo credit: Krista Tippett Public Productions

By Chris Rising

By 2025, millennials will make up 75% of the workforce. We’ve talked previously about how millennials are changing the CRE landscape and the evolution of the modern office, but what do millennials want out of their office environments? The research may surprise you. Let’s look at what we’ve learned and how Rising is staying ahead of the trends:

Millennials value work-life balance. More so than their parents did, millennials rank work-life balance as the most important factor in job satisfaction, according to the 2017 National Legal Sector Benchmark Survey. For these young workers, that includes employee benefits, job flexibility, and work location.

Location is key. According to a recent PR Newswire article, 70% of millennials care a great deal about location, compared to only 41% of workers surveyed ages 55 and up. In CRE, the two go hand in hand: As more millennials choose to work in large towns and cities, an increasing number of companies like Amazon and Google rent office space in urbanized areas.

An office is not just an office. Millennials view their workplace and immediate surroundings as a community, and expect more from their office space. They want to be able to relax, socialize, and engage in other activities besides work. According to a recent study conducted by Knoll, millennials rate the importance of having an “engaging workplace” highest, and “quality of meeting rooms” lowest. In order to attract millennials, versatile office space that is engaging is essential and should account for this demographic’s preferences.

An eye for design. A whopping 76% of millennials ages 18-34 feel strongly about office design and aesthetics. This is a sharp contrast to the 39% of employees ages 55 and up. While this emphasis on well-designed office spaces is prevalent among millennials, what that actually looks like is still up for debate. Modern design trends like open offices and on-site coffee bars have strongly influenced what designers and landlords think millennials want, but their efficacy, as far as worker retention and productivity, goes has yet to be proven.

Provide options. The open office debate is ongoing. Concentration vs. collaboration. There is no definitive answer as to whether one is better than the other. Rather, research shows that workers that each offers its own benefits and that workers thrive with options. To meet the needs of this workforce, office spaces must include several options, not one size fits all. Go beyond the desk and include a variety of indoor and outdoor workspaces.