Fill in the blank: “Millennials are….”. Now, if you spend any time on the internet, or listening to opinion news, you probably filled that in with something negative.
Entitled, lazy, praise-hungry, and self-obsessed are all phrases that get thrown around when discussing the under-35 set. Oh, and don’t forget the avocado toast mentioned in every article about millennials!
However, love of avocado aside (that is definitely accurate), data doesn’t support this unflattering view. It’s true that millennials do not work the same way as older generations. They switch jobs more often, often hold down more than one job at a time, and have a different value system when it comes to workplace happiness.
A perfunctory salary and a dependable position are no longer enough to qualify a job as desirable. Millennial happiness in the workplace comes largely from feeling their work is meaningful, that their companies value them, and that their needs are taken care of.
These are actually pretty universal qualifications for feeling satisfied and optimistic in your career. However, the difference is that millennials aren’t afraid to voice dissatisfaction on these fronts. If your company is expecting young employees to just clock in and clock out every day with little examination, prepare for some quick turnover.
To quote from this Gallup opinion piece by a millennial himself,
“Surprisingly to some, we’re generally an ambitious lot. Maybe not more than previous generations, but we have had to be adaptable and scrappy in our postcollege years. Plan A didn’t work? OK, reinvent yourself and try plan B. Plan B didn’t work either? Let’s try plan C — all while trying to do something meaningful with our lives.
For this reason, millennials have a reputation for being the “job-hopping” generation. Hard to please? Perhaps. But that comes from being ambitious, hungry and maybe a little idealistic.”
So sure, they work differently. But millennials care about succeeding, and about bringing value to the world. In addition to the many years of potential in their future, millennials add innovation and social cache to companies that might otherwise be wary of change. It’s a digital world now in almost every field, and “digital natives” speak the language better than anyone. For this reason, retainment of young professionals has risen to the forefront of company culture discussions.
Traditional office spaces often go hand in hand with old-fashioned companies: segmented, bland, and anachronistic. Choosing a coworking space instead of a traditional rental office can be a great way to boost and retain your millennial engagement.
Charlotte is hugely attractive to young people. Luckily, the Queen City has the shared office spaces to match. Below are five reasons why working out of a coworking space can help your company get and retain millennial talent!
Opportunities for networking and friendship
We spend so much time at work, and having peers you enjoy spending that time with can greatly increase your workplace satisfaction. Millennials tend to blur the lines between work and play more than previous generations; they want to work with people who will also join them for happy hour. It’s not just for joshing around, either. A peer group can provide support, inspiration, and professional encouragement in the workplace. Coworking spaces can offer a diverse group of members and an wide circle for potential friends and networking opportunities, both of which your millennial employees will appreciate.
Inspiring physical spaces
Coworking spaces cover the range of the design spectrum. From cozy and colorful to sleek and modern, boring is the only style to avoid. Working out of a space that is comfortable and inspiring will make your millennial employees that much more excited to come to work. Bonus points if there are multiple “zones” where your team can work; switching it up throughout the day is good for both productivity and perceived autonomy (rather than being chained to a desk). Sustainable practices can also make coworking spaces very attractive for Earth-conscious millennials.
Snacks and coffee are appealing to everyone, of course, but they’re not the only perk that coworking spaces can offer your millennial employees. Many shared office spaces are actively involved in community, and host community events, speakers, and professional workshops. Opportunities for professional development are very high on the list for millennials. Some spaces also offer bike shares, yoga, and more with membership!
25-34 year olds are 50% more likely than the average adult to live in an urban center. The migration to the suburbs happens much later than it did in earlier generations, in part because millennials aren’t buying houses. Working out of a coworking space in the hustle and bustle of the city is a huge draw for young professionals. A short commute and convenient lunch options ( and after-work watering holes with those friends mentioned above) are prime benefits to millennials.
Flexibility and freedom
Of course, your employees’ sense of autonomy comes from your company culture. An office space can’t determine your working hours, or whether or not work feels creative and flexible. That being said, coworking spaces are full of freelancers, startups, and independent professionals who are no longer tied down to the 9-5 grind. Even if your profession requires a regular schedule or strict guidelines, your employees can benefit from the free-flowing, creative vibe of coworking spaces.
If you find yourself with high millennial turnover, or having trouble with recruitment, consider moving your company into a coworking space. Check out our article here to choose the best kind of membership for your company. And if all else fails…offer them avocado toast.