Categories: Society

How to Design the Office to Attract and Retain Millennials


Millennials, the generation born between 1980 and 2000, are taking the offices by storm. As of 2020, 35 percent of the global workforce are millennials, also known as Generation Y. By 2025, this figure will rise to 75 percent. In some of the advanced economies of Europe and North America, they’re already the largest working cohort.

“The companies who understand the needs of millennials and cater to them are poised to take full advantage of one of modern history's most drastic demographic changes.”

Millions of millennials worldwide share common experiences: They survived the 2008 financial crisis. They were online all their adult lives, and are probably more educated than their parents. While generational traits might differ across cultures, these events shaped some of the core values of this generation.

As a result, millennials tend to be tech-savvy, achievement-oriented, and more globally-minded. After growing up in a time of global insecurity, this generation identifies strongly with their work.

All these traits make millennial employees a significant asset for companies. However, continually seeking purpose and self-improvement, millennials aren’t afraid to leave a company that doesn’t meet their expectations. Inefficient and unpleasant work environments are among the top reasons that compel them to seek a different job. Hence, how can modern offices adjust themselves to meet the expectations of the millennial talent?

The offices making amendments in the three following areas can tap into this demographic window of opportunity by keeping their millennial employees professionally satisfied.

Fear Not the Flexibility

Rigid schedules and inflexible attitudes in work are the quickest ways to alienate the millennial employees. According to one study, 77 percent of millennials believe flexible jobs would make them more productive. Some studies even show that millennials would favor flexibility over a pay rise.

While the members of this generation are some of the hardest workers, they want to perform their duties on their terms. Hence, office cultures that accommodate flexible working schedules attract and retain the millennial talent overwhelmingly more.

As telecommuting options increase job satisfaction, a digital infrastructure to allow this is imperative for future-forward companies to thrive.

Drastic Digital Integration


Even though smartphones were invented in 1992, the 2010s were a breakthrough period for the popularization of these technologies. Once considered a luxury, smartphones, among other digital gadgets, are now ubiquitous.

Millennials were the first generation who were able to spend the majority of their adult lives online and continuously connected. This connectivity had a dramatic impact on anything from the way they consume the media to their approaches to work. Hence, they demand their ideal office to be well-integrated with these technologies that make their lives easier. This is directly in alignment with their desire to be flexible.

From personalized access to the offices using smartphones to the IoT-powered office lightning, digital integration keeps millennial workers happy.

Spiking Up the Sustainability

As the world is facing a climate change emergency, millennials are among the groups concerned most about the issue. From favoring clean energy to optimizing their water use, they take more eco-friendly decisions in day-to-day life than the previous generations. Hence, they want their offices to reflect these values and have a deep commitment to sustainability.

With their great love for indoor plants, millennials also favor biophilic elements in office design — which reduce the stress levels of employees.

Attracting and retaining the millennial talent is only one perk of sustainable office environments. Greener offices cut costs and create a more productive, happier, and healthier work environment for everyone.

Millennials Are Re-Defining Work

Millennials are not the future; they’re the present. Over the next several decades, their values and demands will keep shaping the global economy and shift the work culture.

The companies who understand the needs of millennials and cater to them are poised to take full advantage of one of modern history’s most drastic demographic changes.

Adriana Voegeli

Adriana Voegeli

Adriana works as Senior Project Manager at iluminr. She's the former Editor-in-Chief of the dormakaba Blog. She is an expert in content planning, web project management and strategic development.