Brand culture: What millennials expect from the 2019 workplace


Date: 16 April 2019

Person using a laptop on a large table in a shared workspace while others work nearbyMillennials are a force to be reckoned with.

Currently, this age group comprises 35% of the UK workforce and they're expected to represent 50% of the global workforce by 2020, according to KPMG's 2017 study 'Meet the Millennials'.

Millennials make up a huge talent pool and as this demographic matures, many are now moving into management and CEO positions. Given their vast number and growing influence, it certainly pays to keep millennials happy. So how do you do it?

Born between the mid-1980s to 2000, millennials - also known as 'Generation Y' following their Generation X predecessors - grew up during the millennium period and witnessed dramatic technological advances. This included the invention and adoption of the World Wide Web, smartphones, and wireless technology. They are widely considered 'digital natives'.

Given their adoption of mobile technology, millennials have grown up with the idea that work is no longer a place you go, but a thing you do. Therefore, they are much more accustomed to the concept of work/life balance than their parents and grandparents. They expect it, and they are prepared to prioritise their lifestyle needs over traditional imperatives such as pay and bonuses.

With that in mind, here are three key things millennials expect from the workplace in 2019.

1. Flexibility and greater work/life balance

Gone are the days of being bound to a desk from 9 to 5. For many millennials, wellbeing and work/life balance take precedence over money and bonuses, because they want to enjoy their life as well as succeed in their career. One study found that 45% of millennial workers would choose better flexibility in their job over higher pay, which tells you a lot about the motivations of this particular demographic.

There are various ways employers can offer greater flexibility, such as allowing staff to work from home or in a coworking space, or hot-desking with a virtual office space agreement. Flexible working hours may also be preferable, particularly for working parents or those with dependents.

2. A fun, friendly work culture

There's a very good reason why cubicles are being phased out of office environments. These 'cookie cutter' offices are dull and uninspiring. In their place, offices are appearing which emulate the home environment and introduce elements of fun and social collaboration.

The so-called 'experiential' workplace is an emerging trend in workplace design, placing the emphasis on the occupier's experience. According to KPMG, “millennials are the first generation to use the word 'fun' to describe their dream job”, and workplaces are responding.

That doesn't mean you need to install slides and ball pits in your office space. Instead, it's about creating an environment where workers have the freedom to move around and switch their workplace to suit the task at hand. For instance, quiet private spaces for concentrated work; open collaborative spaces for general tasks; and comfortable break-out zones or cafe areas for lunch or informal meetings.

The opportunity to work from a third place, which may be an office space closer to home or even the chance to blend work with travel as part of a remote work agreement, can also be extremely attractive to millennials.

3. Clear development plans

Above all, millennials want to know what lies ahead. According to Udemy, 42% of working millennials say learning and development is a top benefit when deciding where to work. They want to know that their employer is open to furthering their education and training, and that they have the opportunity to develop and learn new skills that will benefit them in the future.

Transparency is important and millennials want to have a purpose, which includes knowing their place within the company and in which direction you - and they - are headed.


Much has been written about the 'war for talent', which is intensifying as mobile technology increasingly breaks down physical boundaries.

You may have the ideal millennial candidate within commuting distance of your head office, but if you can't offer them the flexible working conditions and opportunities they require, they could just as easily take up a remote working position for a company hundreds of miles away.

That's why it pays to show close attention to what millennials want from the workplace in 2019, and do your best to accommodate their requirements. In return, they are much more likely to show you loyalty and perform over and above what is required.

Copyright 2019. Featured post made possible by Alliance Virtual Offices, providing virtual office services that accelerate small business growth.

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