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10 ways to give your workplace a millennial-friendly makeover in 2019

(SergeyNivens / DepositPhotos.com)

(SergeyNivens / DepositPhotos.com)

By the year 2025, millennials will make up approximately 75 percent of the workforce, which amounts to three out of every four workers. If you’re a business owner or human resources professional, you know exactly how important these numbers are. To attract and retain workers from this growing generation, you have to create a company culture that caters to these tech-savvy individuals by learning what makes them tick. Consider the following tips to help you transform your existing workplace into an environment that meets the millennial generation’s expectations.

Move your offices downtown

If you’ve ever considered moving your business downtown close to restaurants and other amenities, now is the time to do it. Millennials tend to enjoy working close to where they live for a short commute, so consider that historic warehouse in the center of town or update an old factory near a new set of luxury apartments. By making it easy to walk back and forth to work within minutes, you’ll attract a younger workforce.

Get rid of the cubicles

One of the most valued commodities for your workplace is natural light; do whatever you can to bring it in and open up the space. Consider modernizing your office to invite collaboration by breaking down cubicle walls. Choose oversized shared desks, group teams together in areas, or opt for oversized tables that allow for easy teamwork. Offer some strategically placed bar-height tables and stools, couches, and even standing desks for a variety of work surfaces. For privacy, provide a few quiet offices that can be used for one-on-one meetings, phone calls, or simply when someone needs privacy to work alone.

Consider Your décor

Some of the top interior design trends and work environments for millennials include industrial looks, reclaimed wood, LED lights and sliding doors. Also, be sure to add plenty of natural elements like plants and stone. It’s possible to combine reclaimed materials with contemporary design elements to produce a unique space.

Create breakout areas

Breakout areas refer to any open space that is separate from the usual work area where employees can relax, eat lunch, take a break and even hold informal meetings. Transform several offices into breakout areas by adding comfortable sectional sofas, bean bag chairs, and even picnic tables. Bring in different colors and textures. Light blue, pale yellow and even shades of green are good choices to help minimize stress. Be sure to add plenty of lighting if the area doesn’t have windows in order to brighten up space. Breakout areas should also be close to the kitchen, so users can grab coffee and snacks while away from their normal work area.

Update your break room

A way to a millennial’s heart is through their stomach with a break room upgrade. Try to steer away from the traditional breakroom with plastic chairs and vending machines packed with candy bars and chips. Larger companies can consider an on-site café complete with their own company chef. If the budget won’t allow it, at the very least you should consider a well-stocked coffee bar and a selection of healthy food options like fruit, smoothies, granola bars, and oatmeal.

Adopt high technology

Millennials grew up with tablets and cell phones in hand, so it’s important to adopt the latest technologies within the workplace so these workers will feel right at home. And millennial workers’ tech-savvy mindset can help connect your company with millennial consumers. By initiating a cloud-based marketing program, you also create a customer journey approach to ensure that customers come back. Some examples of tech to include are:

• Laptops

• Wireless keyboards, mice, and headphones

• Netbooks

• Game consoles

• Tablets and smartphones

• Dual monitor setups

Initiate flexible work hours

Create opportunities for flexible work hours in a more relaxed workspace. Millennials tend to value health and family above work, believing a flexible schedule makes them more productive and creative. Many are also accustomed to being constantly connected and often accomplish work on the fly. So instead of set work hours, consider letting these workers choose a window of time to get their work done. Flexible schedules often lead to fewer missed days and greater productivity than the standard nine-to-five. When possible, also provide the option of working remotely from home.

Focus on health

Most millennials appreciate when employees help facilitate their health and well-being. One way to do this is by creating a company wellness program to help reduce stress and repetitive injuries. Set up a gym in the office where workers can work out on their lunch breaks or after work. Task HR or other managers with forming a wellness committee to help point employees in the right direction and suggest innovative ways to get healthy. You might also hold group fitness campaigns to encourage workers to get fit.

Offer office perks

Compensation for a job well done is often what sets one employer apart from another. Consider offering a variety of office perks to make millennials flock in. Perks might include:

• Bi-weekly chair massages

• Free snacks in the office cafeteria

• Napping rooms

• Paid fitness memberships

• Weekly ice cream runs

• Sporting event tickets

• Discounts on travel

Provide development and training classes

Education is often the road to success, and millennials know that. Provide training for advancement or offer tuition reimbursements. Mentoring programs not only contribute to greater personal and professional development, but also foster connection between varied levels and generations of workers. Regular training creates more versatile employees, which results in greater productivity.

Millennials tend to have very different expectations of their workplaces than those of preceding generations. Because these workers tend to make up the majority of the current workforce, it’s important for businesses to listen to their preferences on the job. By adjusting the workplace mindset and making a few upgrades and additions, your organization can begin attracting and maintaining millennial workers.

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