What Do Millennials Want in Their Workspace?

Millennials are the largest generation making up today’s workforce, and they have significantly disrupted the way we work and also the places we work from.

Coworking, remote working, and flexible schedules are only a few of the boundaries millennials have pushed in the last few years. And why are companies letting their boundaries be pushed? It’s simple–the war for talent. If companies want to attract the best talent and the best clients, they need to make sure that they are catering to their needs and desires, and millennials have made it a point that they place value in more than just monetary remuneration. Companies and businesses need to think about their workplace environment, their benefits, and their value proposition in order to retain their top talent.

As regards the physical workplace, what exactly are millennials looking for? What does their ideal workspace look like?

Cutting-Edge Technology

Slow monitors, slow wifi, bad audiovisuals, complicated printing systems–these will not do for a millennial. Technology should be a given, and not just any technology; it has to be state-of-the-art, revolutionary technology, or else they’ll be out the door sooner than you can shut off your computer.

For millennials, technology and productivity go hand in hand. If the tech and softwares you have available don’t meet their expectations, then they will not be able to work as efficiently and productively as they like.

Hybrid Workplace Design

There’s no one size fits all approach to workplace design–so don’t try to make it all open plan, and don’t try to make them all private offices.

Millennials value choice. So provide them with a workspace where they can choose to work from a shared area, from a private office, from a meeting room, from a break-out area, from beanbags; the important thing here is for them to have the freedom to choose where they get their work done from–and this choice will vary by task, by mood, and by time of the day.


Amenities are the cherry on top of a Sunday, if you will. These can range from offering gourmet coffee and tea, all the way to having catered food delivered, on-site laundry pickup and drop-off, or having a gym on-site or providing them with discounted gym membership.

It’s about showing them that you care about their lives–both professional and personal.

In any case, the only way to truly find out what millennials want from your space is by asking them; so include them in your decision-making process. Ask them what they want, and ask regularly; needs and demands vary greatly from time to time, and in order to retain the best, you need to be constantly anticipating what they’ll need next.

In any case, make your workplace a place where people want to be in, as opposed to have to be in.


Coworking, Now Mainstream

Last June, at the Social Workplace Conference, Karen Williamson – senior researcher, JLL -and Maciej Markowski – workplace strategist – delivered a presentation that explored the unprecedented growth of coworking and the impact it’s having on corporate real estate.

Coworking itself isn’t a new concept; it’s been around for ages, but it is just now being embraced by — freelancers, startups, entrepreneurs, and (yes) big corporate businesses. And though only a few short months ago coworking was still considered a trend, the movement has–thanks to large companies embracing these types of spaces–reached a tipping point.

According to a report by JLL, “the coworking industry makes up just 0.7 percent of the total U.S. office market, but demand is unprecedented and fueling the growth of large providers in major markets.”

Coworking is no longer a trend, it’s no longer a movement. It is now mainstream and it is dictating the way people work.

A growing industry means a more competitive market and although coworking is expected to continue to grow at a fast rate, chances are many brands and operators will either downsize or exit the marketplace.

Size and location matter. Nearly 80% of the total leased space comes from the industry’s 2 largest providers: Regus and WeWork. “A well-known brand cultivates a stronger customer base and makes it easier to capture a higher share of demand,” the report reads.

As for location, JLL emphasises how corporates look to set up as much in urban markets as they do in CBDs for recruitment and retention purposes. Which brings us to another key reason why coworking is now the norm. Coworking offers flexibility–something that the new generation of workers is demanding from employees. Where an office is located, what type of workstations they have, and the times at which these spaces can be accessed have all become a critical component of the war for talent.

Choosing the right location is essential to the success of any coworking provider. “Over the past two years, 90 percent of leasing activity in this sector has taken place in Class B and C buildings, and two-thirds of leasing activity is within urban and mixed-use submarkets that cater to today’s millennial workforce.”

What does this all mean?

It means that workspace operators that want to stay relevant need to make sure that they are building a brand that can be easily scaled, that they are setting-up their workspace solutions in prime locations, and that they have a long-term business strategy that allows them to remain resilient in an ever-changing, ever-growing market.