Why a boring office might be uninspiring for your millennial employees

A fifth of millennial workers admit to rejecting a potential employer because of the poor look of their office.

Millennial workers in the UK are turning their back on potential employers due to the poor and ‘uninspiring’ design of offices, according to a new study.

The research, commissioned by coworking provider Mindspace, in conjunction with research firm One Poll, reveals that employers are struggling to attract and retain young talent due to the importance that the younger generation is placing on the aesthetics and vibe of the workplace.

The survey finds that Britons are becoming increasingly bored with their current office environment (31 per cent), uninspired to go to work. Another 28 per cent of workers express that their place of work is outdated and dull.

Over a fifth (21 per cent) of 18-24 year olds admit that they have rejected a potential employer because of the poor design of the office or lack of amenities available. 34 per cent in the same age group would be willing to commute for a maximum of one hour each way to an office that is considered perfect – compared to only 22 per cent of 45-54 year olds.

This signals the urgency and importance of workspace design and its impact on company culture. Some 16 per cent of 18-24 year olds reveal that they have actually left a job because of how poorly designed the office was in one of their previous roles.

The importance of a benefits package

Benefits and perks are also important for many UK millennials, with 26 per cent of 25-34 year olds stating that a company’s benefit packages (such as discounted massages and dog walkers) is one of the most important factors for them when considering an employer.

According to the research, Britons visit the same workplace five days a week (82 per cent) and work from the same desk in the office (80 per cent), but they are feeling bored and uninspired by their working environments. This has a detrimental effect on their productivity and mental health, with many stating that they feel tired (24 per cent) and stressed (20 per cent).

As expected, while many state that they have access to amenities and features such as a kitchen (72 per cent), meeting rooms (66 per cent) and free tea & coffee (53 per cent), what UK office workers desire the most to improve morale is more natural light, air conditioning and improved interior lighting.

While many companies in the UK have embraced open plan offices over the last few years, a significant number of office workers (46 per cent) feel that there is either limited or no collaboration between different teams and departments in their office currently.

Nearly one in five (19 per cent) do not feel that their current office encourages them to collaborate with others but a quarter (25 per cent) are desperate for break out areas, more spaces for private work (23 per cent) and more creative brainstorming spaces (19 per cent).

Dan Zakai, co-founder and CEO at Mindspace comments, ‘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.’

Further reading on millennial workers

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the Smallbusiness.co.uk and Growthbusiness.co.uk titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the Express.co.uk.

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