Picture the clichéd millennial workspace. What do you see?
Rose gold and copper lines the furniture. Shiny new coffee machines keep the mood lively. Kitchens brim with the smell of avocado toast. An office completely absent of shirts and ties. Just trainers, jeans, tees, and perhaps even some kind of vintage hat bought on Depop for £90.
That’s all well and good. But is this seriously what all millennials want out of their workplaces? And more importantly, does the public conception of the ideal millennial workplace extend beyond cheap stereotypes?
Sometimes we need to take things a little more seriously. It’s not just about fun perks anymore. Collectively, millennials are well on their way to making up the majority of the world’s workforce. Their influence on the world of work is far too great for us to make a joke out of their demands. Millennials are changing the way we think about work. As such, companies need to be revising the way they think about work too… Not to mention the way they think about millennials.
The same as everybody else
The idea that millennials want radical changes in the workplace is a fallacy. Plain and simple. Sure, like any generational group they have quirks. They have needs specific to their age-group. They may even have expectations that older generations find wrong or ridiculous.
At bottom, however, millennials simply want the same out of their workplace as everybody else. The same as Generation X. The same as Baby Boomers. Forget their dietary requirements, forget their taste in design, because we’re talking about work here.
Despite the misconceptions, millennials simply look for the usual staples of a good workplace. Career security. Fairness and equality. They want to have a positive impact on their company. They want respect from their colleagues. They want adequate support, exceptional leadership, and of course a salary that matches their experience and abilities.
When asking the question of what millennials want out of their workplace and company culture, you should first ask: what does anyone want out of their workplace. While there are aspects of working life that matter more to Generation Y than other generations (we’ll get to these next), don’t lose sight of the very basics of running a desirable and ethical company. Only after sorting these basics should you begin catering specifically to the needs of the millennial worker.
Unlike previous generations, millennials are less likely to blindly accept authority and as such many lack trust in big corporations. Young people want employers who are open and honest. Consequently, transparency is the key. With such a constricted job market, entering the world of work is a struggle for many young people. Feeling useful and respected can make a huge impact on the way millennial workers perform at work. In addition, it can improve the way they feel about their work (which is much more important in the long run).
They are a generation raised on the internet. One which uses Facebook, Insta, and Snapchat every single day. Unsurprisingly, millennials in the workforce are more familiar with technology than any other group of workers. In order for this tech-dependent generation to grow as workers, they expect employers to keep on top of technology trends. A total of 59% of millennials want their employers to provide top-of-the-line technology. Why? Because it allows them to deal with their work efficiently and flexibly. Technology can be adapted to the needs of individual workers, allowing them to personalise and optimise the way they work for the better. It’s a real win-win.
Especially in creative or freelance spheres, millennials value flexibility. Whether it’s a role offering a variety of tasks, non-standard working hours, or different workspaces, millennials love being flexible at work. Employers offering opportunities to work on a number of tasks or even on tasks that require the use of a home office is a way to win over millennial workers.
Gone are the days of cramped cubicles and grey suits. Pining for free and open workspaces, millennial workers put self-expression and freedom first. Wide open spaces, natural light and creative design choices are perfect for creating cool offices for millennials. Even just a splash of colour or a nice selection of plants can help towards making a good working environment, giving a real boost to productivity.
Here at Uncommon, we care about how you feel at work. Our London coworking office spaces are designed with your wellbeing in mind. Every single detail helps create an environment in which you can feel good about your work. Visit Uncommon in Liverpool Street, Fulham, Highbury & Islington, and Borough to experience our unique vision of working life.