Does Your London Office Design Attract and Retain Younger Generation Employees?

Did you know that your London office design can have a big impact on whether you can attract and retain younger employees? In a study by London Loves Business it’s clear that millennials (also known as Generation Y or Gen Y, whose birth years fall between the mid-1990s to early 2000s) place more emphasis on working in an office space that is aesthetically pleasing and has the right amenities, than other workers of a different age range may do.

New Study Shows UK Office Design Plays Important Role in Attracting and Retaining Millennials

London Loves Business commissioned Mindspace (a co-working provider) and One Poll (a survey-led marketing research company which delivers consumer and B2B research, specialising in PR surveys, data visualisation and online quantitative research) to look at why companies across the UK are struggling to attract and retain younger workers into their businesses.

Over 2,000 UK office staff were surveyed and it was found that over 21% of 18-24 year olds say that they’ve walked away from a potential employer because of poor or uninspiring office design or where there was a lack of available amenities.16% of the same age group have left a job because of having to work in a poorly designed office space.

Interestingly 34% of 18-24 year olds say they are willing to commute up to one hour each way to a job where the space they work in is well designed – this is 12% higher than when compared to only 22% of 45-54 year olds who would be willing to make a two hour round trip to get to work.

As well as design, benefits and perks were also shown to be important to many UK millennial office workers. 26% stated that a company’s benefit package e.g. flexible work hours, health and wellness options (access to a gym, reduced gym fees, access to outside areas) and subsidised services e.g. canteen/kitchen were important to them when considering a new employer.

Uninspiring Office Space and the Need for Good London Office Design

The research also went onto say that 82% of those surveyed work from the same office and of those 80% work at the same desk in their offices day in day out. When their office space is uninspiring it can leave them feeling less than enthusiastic about their workplace environment and coming into work.

While the move to more open plan offices has increased over the last few years 46% of office staff felt that even with more open office space there was still a lack of collaboration between different teams and departments. 19% did not feel that their current office enables them to collaborate with other staff and 25% have no break out areas, 23% need more private work areas and 19% felt their workspace was lacking areas where they could do creative brainstorming.

Although many of those surveyed said they have access to kitchen (72%) and tea or coffee room facilities (53%) many said they really wanted and what would provide the biggest boost to morale, was access to natural light, improved office lighting where natural light was not available and air conditioning.

A lack of these things can in turn lead to a negative effect on productivity and mental health and wellbeing with 24% saying that the lack of the elements above results in them feeling tired and 20% saying that they are stressed.

Health and Wellbeing in Office Design

In terms of health and wellbeing office design is more than just having an office that looks nice. It’s about making sure the workplace environment enables staff to do their job, and encourages a work environment that is enthusiastic, motivated and productive; a place where people look forward to coming to work. Thinking about staff health and wellbeing should play a very important part in all office design today.

The research above clearly shows that good quality office design is vital to being able to attract the right workforce, particularly the younger generation, who place a premium on working in the right office where the design has been well thought out.

Dan Zakai, co-founder and CEO at Mindspace stated, “Millennials are the future of the workforce and will constitute over 50 per cent of the working population in the next few years. It’s insightful to see that so many graduates and young workers are turning their back on potential employers because of the poor design of their office. While many young workers in the UK still value a good workplace culture and decent salary, employers need to start placing a much larger emphasis on the aesthetics of the office and fostering a more collaborative workspace in order to retain and attract the best young talent through their doors.”

What Would Make Your Office Design People Perfect?

In a previous article we looked at “Is Your Kent or London office Design People Perfect” i.e. putting people at the heart of your office design and refurbishment. This article goes some way to addressing some of the many factors involved in designing the “perfect office space”.

In other articles “Office Refurbishment with a Focus on Health and Wellbeing” and “How Your Kent or London Office Design Can Tackle the Top Killers of Productivity” we look at some of the ideas needed to make your office space right for today’s workforce. This includes flexible, collaborative workspaces; enabling staff to “keep moving”; access to kitchen, tea/coffee, break out areas and more private/quiet office space, utilising the latest technologies, bringing the outside inside by incorporating direct or indirect elements of nature into the built environment, known as “Biophilic design” (love of nature), ensuring natural light is used wherever possible and where not possible making sure other light sources are available and that offices provide the right amount of light to enable staff to do their job.

Find Out More

When it comes to office design you can count on JBH Refurbishments 25+ years of experience in office refurbishment. We have carried out office design across a range of industries, both big and small. You can take a look at some of our many our office refurbishment projects to see the type of work we have undertaken for various clients across Kent, London. Sussex, Surrey and Essex. Contact us via our contact form or call 0333 207 0339.

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