Lavallee / Brensinger Architects on Millennials in the Workforce

This weeks value-added Tuesday featured Lavallee / Brensinger Architects presenting a session on retaining millennials in your workplace. Paul Lewandowski of LBPA admits there is no easy, one size fits all answer when it comes to this topic. The presentation focused on office aesthetics as the biggest impact without having to give large bonuses.

 

Suggestions for your office space:

  • Desk Sharing
  • Raiseable Desks
  • Comfortable Seating
  • Perks

 

What is Desk Sharing?

Desk sharing is the shift from assigned desks to the concept that anybody can sit anywhere. Employees receive a locker space where they can place their valuables and keep folders and paperwork.  75% of employees do not want to go into the office. The trend is conductive to working from home or being away for meetings. Additionally, this limits empty desks taking up room that could be used for something more meaningful. If desk sharing begins in the office, then only people who are into the office for the day will need to use one and the now available space can become a break room or a meeting room.

An example of a new break room they have in their office

How would I implement desk sharing?

First, research needs to be done to determine how many desks get used every day and how often. If this is a shockingly low number and it continues to lower over an prolonged period of time, your company is the right fit. Purge your materials, and get rid of anything not useful so employees can move only their essentials to their assigned locker. Reconfigure the extra space to determine preferences for working at a larger table or the normal desks that remain. Keep making small changes and gauge how your employees react until you have the desired outcome. Remember that leadership also needs to lead the charge and be part of the trials so everyone can feel involved.

Why a raiseable desk?

Millennials like to be able to move around while they work. A standing desk this gives them the option of standing all day which can burn 500 more calories. With this adjustable desk, they do not have to stand, but it gives them the option which can make employees more productive. This is a small change to make your workers happier, which goes a long way.

What kind of comfortable seating?

Comfortable seating can be desk chairs anything from cushioned to break room spaces that act more like a living room because most people get their best thinking done outside of the office. If a space can be created to simulate an external environment, this promotes creative thinking.

What perks?

Millennials like getting something extra from their employers that incentivizes them. This can be as simple as raises and bonuses, or more creative affordable options. Have a barista come in and make them coffee. It might not cost as much and can make your employees much more productive.  Work with a local gym to gain a better membership rate.  Even giving your employees a spot in the office where they can relax and hang out. This may seem counterproductive, but it can lower stress levels allowing for more effective problem solving.

Key takeaways

Retaining employees can be as simple as making your work environment feel comfortable. Updating the desks, break rooms, and work space can boost morale which overall can increase production. Millennials are not as focused on having the largest desk, but are more interested in a good work environment where they can relax while being productive. For more information on improvements in the work space check out Lavallee/Brensinger Architects.