Attracting young talent to your company is no longer a simple as offering a competitive salary and benefits. Although those things are of course important, it is now crucial that companies are designing workspaces for millennials (or, increasingly, designing workspaces for Generation Z). As our culture changes, so do preference in workplace design, and it’s important that companies accommodate changing demographics and technology when designing offices for the future.

So, how to design workspaces for future generations? By following these tips, your workplace will remain a competitor in terms of attracting new talent and increasing employee engagement:

Offer flexible workstations.

Increasingly, corporate spaces are straying away from traditional cubicles in favor of giving employees choices on where to complete their work. When designing workspaces for younger generations, keep in mind that millennials are working longer and longer hours; 73 percent are working more than 40 per week, and nearly 25 percent are working longer than 50 hours a week.

Don’t force employees to spend that entire time sitting in a cubicle. By offering community spaces where employees might be able to informally meet and collaborate as well as casual seating where an individual employee can take a laptop for a change of scenery, the younger generation will be more comfortable with those longer hours and ultimately happier in the office.

In addition, don’t underestimate the benefit of allowing employees to work remotely. Not only will this allow employees an opportunity to get in those longer hours from home, but telecommuting can save on real estate costs as well. Staff members who typically work remotely don’t need permanent offices in the workplace.

Encourage a healthy workplace.

It’s beneficial to an employer to care about the well-being of their employees. When designing workspaces for future generations, keep in mind that millennials and members of Generation Z prioritize offices that include options for healthy eating, fitness and natural light — all of which contribute to overall job satisfaction.

This does not mean that you have to provide free options for healthy food or fitness programs. In fact, Generation Z cares the most about what they’re putting in their bodies, and they are willing to pay extra for that. Instead, make sure any cafeterias or vendors in your commercial building offer options for those looking to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

To maximize natural light, plan for common areas and employee workspaces to be near windows, while conference rooms and private offices are towards the center of your building. This ensures that all of your team can soak up the benefits of the sun.

Don’t underestimate workplace amenities.

Because millennials are spending more time in the office, this leaves less time for personal errands and tasks — and ultimately may take away from precious time at home. To combat this, companies who are designing offices for future generations are prioritizing on-site amenities. This means fitness centers, perks like ATMs on site, food vendors, coffee stations and more. Consider your workplace culture and what makes sense for your business. If you can save an employee some time and enhance their experience in the building, the work-life balance (and the company itself) will ultimately be better off because of it.

Go green.

Climate change and the role that commercial buildings play in energy usage are becoming increasingly important to our society, and the younger generations are well aware of that fact. A huge part of designing workspaces for future generations is doing so with the intent of benefiting your employees and society as a whole, and focusing on sustainability is essential to proving to potential new hires that you’re committed to doing just that.

Designing offices for the future takes a good deal of work and planning, but it’s key in staying relevant in today’s changing cultural landscape. To learn more about how to design workspaces for millennials and Generation Z, contact Chris Gardner at CTG Real Estate Services today.

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