When you hear the phrase “office space” or “office environment,” maybe you think of the traditional cubicles and water cooler conversations. Or maybe you think of newer office complexes, with bean bag chairs and skylights (and maybe even a pool table or dartboard). Or maybe your only connection is the movie “Office Space,” which certainly is an entertaining movie, although it doesn’t do much for the reputation of office buildings.
Regardless of what you associate with this concept, one thing is clear: the office as we know it is changing, and it’s all because of Millennials (i.e., young adults between the ages of 18 and 34).
In a May 11 TIME magazine article titled “Millennials Now Largest Generation in the U.S. Workforce,” contributor Nolan Feeney reports that, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, there are now more Millennials in the workplace (53.5 million) than there are Gen Xers.
Some businesses have already adapted well to these young workers, but the majority of businesses are still struggling to find unique office solutions to these different work habits and mindsets.
So how exactly can you incorporate unique office solutions into your environment, with Millennials in mind, without jeopardizing your entire business? Here are a few things you need to know about Millennials:
- They like to budget and plan. Before you think of this generation as a bunch of whippersnappers, remember that they grew up during the Recession and they pay attention to finances. A long commute, for example, costs both time and money; without compensation, they’re more likely to find another job (and about 14% of Americans report doing so already).
- They want flexibility. This doesn’t mean that they want to change your entire business model, but if there’s a way to improve it and increase efficiency, they’re going to say so. For this reason, the concept of telecommuting through virtual office suites (and even setting up temporary office spaces when needed) has become very popular; around 67% of Americans say that working remotely through a virtual office service is productive, and 80% view it as a job perk.
- They work hard. Again, note the Recession point. These workers went to college during a time when there was no guarantee of a job after graduating, and many will be in student loan debt for decades. They aren’t going to waste precious time on a task that doesn’t matter and they aren’t going to throw away opportunities. They’re more likely to use virtual office services to work around the clock, so you might even have to cut them off when 5 p.m. rolls around.
So what do you think? Are Millennials worth the fuss, or should they just adapt to traditional office life? Are there any unique office solutions that you’ve incorporated in your business? We’d love to hear your thoughts!