At some point in the journey of every business, there comes a time to accept the inevitable: the youth is joining the workforce. Baby boomers are retiring and Gen Y (born 1980 - 1995) is now the largest population group in many countries. In fact, by 2025, around 75% of the global workforce will be comprised of millennials.
So, whether you’re looking to fill vacant office spaces or recruit new employees, you’re going to have to start marketing your work environment to the future of the commercial world: today’s youth.
The current population of millennials is often touted as passionate, innovative, ethics-driven and revolutionary - and to win this younger war for talent requires innovative workplaces and policies in line with their demands.
In a key study on commercial real estate design trends, JLL notes that “one of the biggest factors in attracting young competitive talent and retaining happy and productive employees is having an appealing space that works.”
In fact, 88% of millennials prefer collaborative work environments over competitive ones. This speaks to a range of considerations, including:
There are currently more mobile phones than humans in the world. So, while digitising and becoming mobile-first may be old news, it’s intrinsically vital to attracting young tenants. We’re living in an on-demand world where we get what we want when we want it - be it through Uber, AirBnB, Spotify, UberEATS or more.
Thanks to the ever-increasing speed of the internet, the availability of information at our fingertips and the demand for instant reward, millennials are also driving a larger tech revolution in commercial real estate: one of immediacy. The Gen Y cohort love on-demand services that provide convenience, easy access and smooth operations. Conversations need to happen now, news must be readily available, good work needs immediate recognition, and feedback must be promptly heard.
Smart tech plays a massive role in meeting these needs. For example:
JLL also notes that “sustainability is not a trend, it’s here for good for the betterment and enjoyment of all of us.” The younger generation is perhaps more vocal about environmental causes – after all, they’re the ones who will be raising their children in our planet’s future – but sustainability should be a key consideration when attracting any sort of tenant talent.
This includes nurturing employee demands for sustainable commuting mediums – for example, better bike storage facilities, or changing rooms and lockers for use after walking to work. It also includes the potential for green building standards, renewable energy sources, carbon offsets, smart monitoring technologies and progressive waste management policies.
Pushing the status quo is a pretty standard approach to millennial problem-solving techniques and creating a working environment that constantly inspires and engages, even in little ways, is key.
Professional development is a major part of this. In fact, millennials make up one of the most highly educated population groups in some countries, and won’t stop learning once they’re in a job. In fact, they’re more likely to change careers or leave a job if they’re not being challenged and developed. Money has surprisingly as much to do with employee satisfaction as workplace culture and positive change does.
Studies show that 64% of millennials see making the world a better place as a major priority. Some other outcomes of this drive for change are:
Soon, Gen Y will be making the decisions – not just dictating the underlying demands – and we need to make sure we’re on the right side of the industry when that happens.
Integrating smart technologies that enable immediacy, focusing on tenant wellbeing, heroing sustainability and revolutionising our workspaces are fine ways to learn how to attract tenants who aren’t going to retire tomorrow.
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