Leadership

Designing your workplace for happy millennials

By Alex Tullio CEO
on February 20, 2019
Leadership

Designing your workplace for happy millennials

By Alex Tullio CEO
on February 20, 2019
Workplace design -- why should business leaders care?
Well, a Goldman Sachs landmark study revealed that a significant proportion of our workforce (millennials) value this. Quite a bit. With millenials driving business culture, communications, and operations that are actively shaping today's workforce, time to pay closer attention.

In fact, lots of Australian companies are cozying up their interiors in an effort to both lure and retain highly skilled millennial professionals to their shiny fab space.

Accenture, for example, put up a no-tech "Zen room" in its Melbourne offices where tired millennials can sit, meditate, rebalance and disconnect. Google installed sleep pods and fish tank relaxation rooms in their Sydney office, as well as a gaming room, complete with its own Dance Dance Revolution machine!

It's all about providing employees with a positive work environment for them to thrive in. Wellbeing is big business. After all, work-related stress continues to be an issue for Australian workers, with 49 percent claiming to be stressed and distracted at work.

So what's in a space that will keep millennials happy and productive?

A tidy and uncluttered environment
Is your office piled up with unfiled paperwork and heaps of useless junk? Perhaps it's time to KonMari your office if you want to spark joy in your employees.

Millennial burnout is a very real thing, and it has a lot to do with the perceived lack of time and unending to-do lists. Clutter is a reminder of the things they haven't finished yet. Simply clearing out the office of any trash or unneeded items can boost productivity significantly.
Open and private workspaces
While the open office trend has received some flack in recent years, companies can find the balance in this sweet middle-ground.

Effective workspaces have both collaborative as well as private areas to give employees the flexibility they so desire. An open office space can prevent people from feeling trapped in their desk jobs, but the inclusion of private spaces can also inspire deep work for maximum productivity.
A home away from home
Interestingly, offices deliberately designed to be aesthetically pleasing are said to improve the level of trust amongst employees, and they inspire positive outcomes. Natural materials like wood and stone, for example, are said to increase creativity. Meanwhile, adding natural elements to the work environment is said to decrease heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels.

This might explain the increasing popularity of offices that don't look like offices, like Dropbox's new Sydney office designed to look like an "Australian living room." Without Netflix of course!

Let's be honest. Workplace space and design isn't just a concern for millennials, it matters for everyone. Simple strategies can procure a level of happiness and contentment -- when taken seriously this starts to create positive change. Talent acquisition and retention, workplace culture, all benefit. Which is why so many large companies take their office designs seriously, Dance Dance Revolution and all. If that's a bit too out there, start with a few plants into the workspace, and maybe an office dog!

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