U.K.-based eco-friendly building company Pod-Space uses building-design and technology skills to create stylish eco pods for use as offices and other additional space. Earlier this year Pod-Space surveyed employees across the U.K. to find out what they seek in an inspirational office space. I recently spoke to Co-founder Michelle Lord to learn more about the survey results and find out what Millennials want in a workspace.
Here’s what she had to say:
According to your research on the future of the workplace design, what features were Millennials most interested in having in their offices?
We found they want somewhere they can walk into that isn’t stuffy and dated, but light, airy and modern. High ceilings and open brickwork were also popular, as well as having the latest technology.
A clutter free desk space, and contemporary, yet comfortable furniture was also important. The ideal office window view would be a sprawling cityscape, although we also found a number of respondents would love to look out to see the countryside and rolling hills.
In terms of office space, which layouts did Millennials want more: shared desks or individual workspaces?
We found that most surveyed wanted an open-plan office space, with their own desk, but to sit with their entire team. It was felt that this kind of environment was less hierarchical and encouraged team members to integrate and share ideas.
How much does workspace design affect a company’s ability to attract Millennials to work for their company?
Although other factors such as salary, location and brand play a huge part of attracting potential employees, office design is important. A contemporary looking office space sets the tone of a company and suggests they will also have a fresh and forward-thinking approach to business.
How willing are organizations to change their workplace design to meet the needs of Millennials?
Like any living area, office spaces need to be spruced up every few years, and so it just seems natural to modernize them when the time comes. There still has to be an element of compromise when it comes to changing office space, and all employees must be taken into consideration – a shared music system is not everyone’s idea of heaven in the work place.
It’s also important to remember that many Millennials themselves are now running offices and businesses of their own, so building a more contemporary work space just comes as second nature to them.
Are there any examples of companies that are doing a particularly good job of designing their offices to meet Millennials needs and wants?
There are lots of companies who have really embraced the idea of creating a unique and fun workspace. Ticketmaster’s London office includes a slide, jukebox and pinball machines, as well as state-of-the-art fixtures and fittings.
The entire office floor of Innocent Drinks is covered in fake grass, with pub benches and table football. Virgin Money has an indoor sky painted on the ceiling. It’s all about lifting employees’ spirits and bringing elements of their social life into the workplace – you can really boost creativity with this kind of environment, as long as you stay within the boundaries of professionalism.
Smaller businesses are also getting in on the act, especially companies related to media and design, which have seen something of a boom in the last few years and generally seem to attract a lot of Millennials.