Lifestyle

What Millennials Really Want From A Workplace

Written in collaboration with Free Office Finder.

This year, I considered moving to a new place of work. After four years of teaching English in a secondary school, my career had stagnated, whereas almost all the fellow teachers I’d trained with were landing promotions. Quite frankly, I was fed up and dabbled in the idea of opening my own tuition centre from scratch, but had no idea how to start. In search of a promotion, I visited a local school with not one, but two potential job openings. Both were offering a substantial pay rise. Truthfully, it was a brilliant opportunity for my future but something wasn’t right.

Research by online office agency www.freeofficefinder.com, showed that millennials like me are more concerned with the comfort of their office environment than other generations before us. A huge 33% of millennials surveyed put more focus on their environment, and honestly, I’m not shocked. We employees between the ages of 23 and 38 know that despite our futile attempts to stop it, our workplace becomes an extension of our home. In comparison to previous generations, we likely spend more of our waking life in our office than our lounge so why should we not expect some element of comfort and luxury from our workplace?

Photo by CoWomen from Pexels

I quickly realised that that was what the school was missing. If I were to apply for those jobs, I would be moving to a workplace with a dingy cupboard for an office, no desktop computer in my classroom, and no communal lunches. I would be leaving behind a large, airy office space with computers, a dining table and kitchen. A space designated for English staff alone. I’d be leaving behind the classroom I had lovingly decorated. It was a place I had made my own after three years. I realised that sometimes, the grass is greener where you are.

I couldn’t bring myself to leave.

As this decade comes to an end, we millennials are the driving force of business, building empires from almost nothing. We are the entrepreneurs, innovators, developers, who spend hours, sometimes well in to the night, on projects and presentations; we just can’t work in a space that’s uninspiring. We look for open plan, naturally lit environments; we like fresh flowers and tasteful decor; we want clean, functional facilities; we need adequate transport links and parking spaces. Of course, gym access and an office puppy would be happily accepted too.

You see, these preferences aren’t limited to the day job. At home, when I’m blogging and travel writing, or planning lessons and marking books, I go to my very own office space. Although it’s the smallest room in the house, its walls are powder blue, and decorated with a large DIY pin map of the UK. I opted for crisp white furniture: desk, bookcase, drawers. It’s also the home to a couple of house plants and scented candles. Yes, I spent hours perfecting it, and it’s my favourite room in the house; my place for inspiration.

Photo by CoWomen from Pexels

Indeed, salary, benefits, and flexibility are essentials for a positive work atmosphere, but we cannot overlook the importance of our office environment for our mental health. Food, water, warmth, shelter and a sense of safety are humans’ basic needs; without them, we are unlikely to truly feel as though we belong in the office, or anywhere. Millennials are constantly criticised for being ‘snowflakes’, for having unreasonably high expectations, for being entitled, but we’re not. We are a generation of people who know we don’t have to sit in a brown, cigarette stained cubicle our whole lives, who know we deserve better as employees.

Employers have a lot to juggle when setting up a business. Unfortunately for them, office space is not something they can afford to let drop.

Not long after I almost made a terrible mistake, my current school offered me a promotion, and I grabbed hold of it with both hands. I’m not ready to leave the safety and comfort of my workplace to build an empire (or tuition centre) just yet, but if I were, I’d be searching for the perfect office space for my millennial employees.

9 Comments

  • Athina

    This post is well-written and I really enjoyed reading it.

    I think you’ve identified some important things to consider when changing jobs. I agree that our environment plays a huge part in an employee’s well-being and general happiness at work. Like you said, we spend a lot of time there in order to pay our bills and ultimately live!

    Simple things like having personal space that can be claimed as one’s own, a separate space to eat and decompress – even the colour and texture of our environment are all important and have an effect on our mood. Where I work, these luxuries unfortunately don’t exist and on a day-to-day basis they’re a topic of disgruntled conversation which is a shame as it’s something that could be changed, however slowly.

    It can’t have been easy seeing other colleagues being promoted while your hard work went seemingly unrewarded. I know what it’s like to leave a role and it be a frying pan/fire situation. I’m glad you got your promotion in the end and hope it’s working out for you πŸ™‚ x
    Black Pistachio

    • Georgia Alzapiedi

      Thank you for all your kind words πŸ™‚ the promotion is challenging, but incredibly exciting.
      It really is a shame that there are still workplaces that struggle to offer a comfortable environment. Even a fresh coat of paint could make the difference on some occasions, the difference between wanting to get up in the morning or not. I’m sorry to hear that your workplace in particular is not as pleasant as it could be, and hope that your employer realises their errors soon. x

  • Annaleid

    I love this post!! You really describe this very well! I’m a millennial too and I just changed jobs. I wasn’t really doing the things I loved in my old job and the new one is amazing! I actually work 4 days a week now to also try to make my blog/youtubechannel/content creator job work πŸ™‚

    Thanks for sharing and loved this post!

    xoxo Annaleid

  • Vanessa

    Thanks for sharing your perspective and experience as a millennial. I don’t identify with the comfort aspect that much, but I find psychological comfort important and for some people that means having a nice working space with the desktop computer, etc., so it’s important to talk about it.

  • Rachel Bray

    Love this post, work definitely becomes an extension of home, I’m lucky enough to have an office in a Tudor building, with fabulous colleagues. We have a large central office which I dread going to for all the reasons you’ve listed. The grass isn’t always greener, but sometimes it’s hard to see that.

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