Now that I’m on the wrong side of middle aged it’s hard for me to imagine how frustrating it must be to be a millennial. Much as I’d like to be aged around 30, I’m not sure I’d enjoy the constant barrage of crap being slung at me by the press. Millennials are constantly being labelled negatively because people don’t understand them, frankly, I think their values being pretty darn good and there’s a lot we should be learning from them.
If we look at what millennials care about: They want to make a difference day-to-day; they value a good work life balance; they want to see their work have a positive effect on the world and the want to see their businesses act responsibly. What’s not to like? Despite this most of the UK and US press label Millennials as lazy, and difficult because they don’t show enough passion or drive (?!) — I call bull shit. Despite these apparent failings the millennial workforce is pushing through positive change to the workplace.
We’re now working in much more fluid ways, working from home, working in agile environments, we have a better work life balance and corporate responsibility is becoming an important part of business strategy because it’s a key attraction for new staff. I know us Gen Xers take credit for most of this positive change but in reality we’re merely implementing it.
Flexible working is great but we believe that you also need a community to bounce ideas off (my cat Stannis has really poor ideas). The workplace is where teams can really feel the culture and values of the organisation, something you can’t get from logging onto Citrix. The jury is out whether or not we work more productively from home as I’ve seen conflicting reports, but for me personally the magnetic lure of Netflix doesn’t feel terribly productive (but I can tell you a lot about Ozark and Sinner). By coming into the workspace, people get all the input they need from their teams, combined with the proven improved mental health from human interaction. We believe we need to make the workplace more attractive to working from home.
Buildings and offices act as a constant to represent your brand and its values to customers and staff. “Management structures change, borders shift as do alliances and business activities” (to paraphrase Wally Olins). As millennials especially value the cohesion between the workspace and the values of the organisation they need to see that the values and culture are woven into the building.
We found that by creating beautifully branded environments, people actually want to the office where they can work with productively in their communities. They also want to stay in the business longer and would rather work in a business that has beautiful offices. To engage the millennial audience you need to create an immersive brand experience. Slapping logos on walls and painting everything the right brand colour is not enough. You have to create other ways of engaging the teams and you have got to be increasingly inventive in how you do it.
An immersive brand experience is a way of ensuring your brand narrative and storytelling carries throughout the building. We’ve found that there’s a real magic if you can combine brand experience with your working environment.
If you want to know how to do that with your space please get in touch — firstname.lastname@example.org