How Millennials are Changing the Workplace

By Cribb Altman

Last week, I took a step back from the commercial real estate world to attend a healthcare conference, hoping to gain a fresh perspective on an industry other than my own. One of the largest topics discussed was how the face of healthcare is being radically changed by the innovation of technology and, consequently, the introduction of Millennials to the workplace.

When I started to weigh the implications of this, I realized that in just 4-5 years, Millennials will make up over 50% of the workforce, and by 2025 that number is predicted to reach 75%. Commercial real estate and more specifically, office space, has already and will continue to see a shift in design, amenity partiality, and location desirability as a result of this.

On the office space front, many companies are already transforming their workspaces to account for the needs and preference of the growing younger generation. In order to stay ahead of the curve, we are also starting to see HR be involved in the real estate decision process, as office space is proving more and more as a tool for recruitment and retention of employees. Given the tendency of Millennials to job hop every few years, they are more likely to choose environments with the all-encompassing live, work, and play dynamic. However, when they do choose to live in a more suburban demographic, they are flocking to locations that still maintain that urban feel.

With Millennials’ tech savviness, the ability to work remotely, with more flexibility and less ties to a physical desk or office, is often the ultimate goal. This positions coworking spaces as a front-runner in the eyes of Millennials. Compared to the Baby Boomer generation, Millennials place a higher value on work socialization and collaboration space. While this does shift how we lay out our office space, it clues us into a niche way to keep our Millennial talent on board. Create an environment they actually want to spend time in.

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