Collaborative workspace as it relates to my generation
Over the past few years, the concept of diverse workforce demographics and how an employee can flourish within that space has become a hot topic in industry publications, at conferences and in our offices.
As a representative of the millennial class, I think working in an environment like Google could be both fun and beneficial…seriously, they have foosball! I agree with a recent study I read, published by a renowned worldwide brokerage firm that more than 30% of Millennials agree that open collaborative space is necessary in the workplace. Working in marketing, I appreciate that opportunity to bounce ideas off of someone else. I do, however, find myself siding with the nearly 50% of Millennials that note the need for privacy to finish projects, just as the three generations before me did.
Businesses are leaning towards open work plans to attract younger talent to their business, amongst other reasons, such as cost-saving on workspace. This seems especially true with Gen Z’s entering the workforce.
I work for Qube Global Software in the Americas division. We recently moved from class-C office space to a more modern, 24-hour secure class-A environment. We transitioned from large, bulky desks to private but open cubicles, work stations for telecommuters when they visit, and collaborative space. But there remain two closed door offices and one office with three walls. Although I always felt productive before the move, I had limitations for open conversation. It was a short distance between desks, but I found myself sending emails to brainstorm new concepts rather than engage in open dialogue. Now that the departments are physically closer together and it’s easier to come up with shared ideas.
Innovation is extremely important to us. It’s what we do as a technology partner. Having said that, wouldn’t it be more accurate to say workspace strategy should primarily be dictated by company culture and not be seen as a talent attraction and retention measure? Your office space should reflect the needs of the business. For example, if the company is driven by a lot of telephone time, and you prefer your conversations via text, this isn’t an environment you’d be comfortable in. Similar in comparison, if you prefer to work heads down behind closed doors, and the work environment is wide open floor space, this isn’t a position where you’ll be your most productive.
The way to attract talent is not only the appeal of your position, but what that company has to offer on a grander scale. The reason Google remains successful with Millennials is because of its focus on work/life balance. Companies without Google’s budget can replicate this environment by offering such perks as flex-time, wellness programs and child care.
This isn’t to say that your working environment isn’t important. Once you have attracted people to your business, it can play a huge role in ensuring your workforce is as productive as possible. It can also have a big impact on employee satisfaction. And this is, of course, where we can help. Our space management tools allow for improved use of space, enabling businesses to make improved real estate related decisions.
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Workplace and facility managers are under increasing pressure to provide a workplace that attracts top performers and improves staff motivation, effectiveness and retention. Balancing this with the need to continually add value to your corporation and reduce costs is the ultimate goal.