3 Steps to a Millennial-Friendly Office Space

3 Steps to a Millennial-Friendly Office Space

 
Millennials have for a number of  years constituted the largest generation in the U.S. workforce, comprising 38% as of 2017. That’s up from 25% in 2011—and continuing to increase. Well-educated and diverse, Millennials bring with them new problem-solving skills and leadership techniques, and employers are bending over backwards to recruit and retain them.
Millennials spend a lot of time in the office—globally, 73% work more than 40 hours a week and nearly a quarter work over 50—making thoughtful office design and enticing amenities important in attracting qualified talent. And what Millennials are looking for in office space is not necessarily what their parents wanted. Millennials have some definite ideas about changes they want to see in their workplace—particularly in design, location, and company culture.

  1. WORKPLACE DESIGN

INNOVATION AND TEAMWORK THROUGH OPEN FLOOR PLANS

Personal connections are important to Millennials. They have grown up with social media and are used to sharing their lives with friends and co-workers. As a result, the concept of the private—but lonely—cubicle holds less appeal to them than it might to their older colleagues. More than previous generations, Millennials have a strong desire for the collaborative problem-solving and teamwork fostered by an open floor plan.
The trend toward open floor plans is not new, but it continues today largely due to Millennials’ desire for innovation and cohesive teamwork. While employers may not want to eliminate offices and cubicles altogether, they should at least make sure to include designated collaborative space—lounges and meeting rooms—that can hold more seats and tables for cooperative work.
On the flip side, employers who fully embrace the open floor plan concept should be sure to retain some private spaces for meetings and occasions when employees require more visual and/or auditory privacy than is typically afforded by an open plan. Modular office space, such as desks and partitions with wheels that allow employees to recreate the space to fit the needs of a particular day, may also be valuable.

REMOTE WORKSPACES AND TECHNOLOGY

Younger workers are looking for flexibility—in dress, in work spaces, and in work hours. This has led to an increase in the number of employees who spend at least part of their time working remotely. Many are telecommuting into the office, making conferencing technology such as Skype valuable, and making the private spaces referred to above all the more necessary to facilitate these types of meetings.
Technology in general is important: Millennials have never been without it. It’s how they learn, gather information, communicate. Access to reliable WiFi and a laptop or tablet that can be moved with the employee can significantly add to employee satisfaction.
With more employees working from home, some companies may require less of a physical footprint. Rather than making office space less important, this means that the physical office space that is provided must be more convenient and amenity-rich, providing an atmosphere in which young employees actually look forward to working.
 

  1. LOCATION

CONVENIENCE

People prefer to work in area convenient to where they live. With social interaction as a high priority, Millennials are increasingly choosing to live in cities, surrounded by friends and family—as well as by amenities such as restaurants, entertainment, and access to public transportation. Many workplaces are following suit, moving back from the suburbs.
Which is not to say that suburban office parks are no longer relevant. They will be more successful, however, if they are able to incorporate the types of innovative design and top amenities that Millennials have become accustomed to finding in urban locations. The suburbs have the benefit of space—rooms for outdoor patios and scenic bike paths. And as Millennials get older and start families, they—like their parents before them—may find the suburbs increasingly appealing.

  1. Company CULTURE

GOING GREEN

Green buildings are good for more than just the planet—they are important for employers looking to attract top young talent. Climate change and protecting the environment are by far the biggest concerns of Millennials.
Since many Millennials want to work for environmentally-conscious companies that share their concerns, employers wishing to attract qualified talent should offer green amenities, such as solar panels, green walls, bike racks, and recycling and composting services. LEED certification—or better yet, LEED Zero certification (requiring annual energy consumption to be equal or less than the amount created on-site), can be a significant selling point for young people who are understandably concerned about the state of the environment.
Many new buildings are already built with a green infrastructure, but older buildings can be made more environmentally-friendly as well, and can be designated as LEED existing buildings.


WORK-LIFE AMENITIES

It doesn’t matter whether you call it work-life balance or work-life integration: with technology making employees available 24/7, it is harder than ever to make “work” and “life” peacefully co-exist. So if Millennial employees have to deal with the downside—bosses expecting immediate responses to texts and employee availability for late night emergency calls—there had better be an upside, too.
Fortunately, there can be. It might be being able to attend a meeting via Skype rather than having to reschedule a vacation. Or having access to a relaxing office third place with a coffee bar and a ping pong table. Or even enjoying wellness-focused work amenities such as on-site fitness centers, massages, healthy food options, and green spaces.
 


CONCLUSION

Thoughtful office design and top-notch amenities have become important factors in recruiting and retaining qualified Millennial talent. Employees are looking for a workplace that is flexible, convenient, and amenity-rich, and the most desirable office space will be that which meets these needs.

What changes can you make to allow your space to be more friendly?

Written by:
Kim Pierson
For Coeo

A New Take on Commercial Real Estate Marketplaces – By: Logan Nagel

Article Written by: Logan Nagel on July 17th, 2019 from propmodo


“Knowledge is power. It’s a motto that accurately sums up much of the real estate business as well as the PropTech industry. Regardless of your role, access to information is what separates the winners from the losers. For brokers, it could be information on renters and buyers, as well as market data. For owners, it’s property analytics and consumer information. For developers, perhaps it’s competitive intelligence.
Within the world of PropTech, some of the biggest players in the business have staked their success off of information. CoStar, for instance, is an information broker. With LoopNet, CoStar also controls much of the information the industry uses to compare and evaluate investment or rental opportunities. CoStar wants to be a one-stop-shop, the only game in town. And it’s true, centralizing the marketplace off of one main platform has advantages related to scale and coverage. But it offers downsides, too: brokers and buyers see what CoStar wants them to see, and search using the criteria CoStar lets them use. What’s more, poorly-listed spaces can steer potential investors away from good opportunities.
One commercial marketplace that looks to act as a disruptor to the system, Coeo Space, which aims to keep the entire space search process completely transparent and focused on the user. They do this by giving plenty of search criteria as well as a tiered ranking system for property quality and an algorithmic matching system for users and spaces. Coeo is also free for both space users and listers, with plans to integrate an ad-supported model in the future.
“What we saw was the need for a consumer and a broker to be able to find space easier,” said Kim Ford, Coeo’s co-founder and CEO. For Kim, one of CoStar’s major shortcomings is its inherent lack of clarity. In CoStar, Kim pointed out that plenty of listings without properly-detailed listings still require a phone call, thus limiting the platform’s effectiveness as a true marketplace in and of itself.
Kim also pointed to Coeo’s “coFactor” ranking system as a standout feature. CoFactor scores buildings into Bronze, Silver, or Gold levels based on their amenities and features. A main goal of the tool is to help businesses scope into the right properties that most closely match their amenity and space criteria. “What we think that’s going to enable major corporations to do is say ‘I only want to look at buildings that have coFactor,’” Kim added.
The idea of a scoring system for buildings is an interesting one. CoStar, of course, has its own star-based ranking system, but its implementation often seemed to me to be an afterthought. Myself and the brokers and investors I worked with would never reference a CoStar score, instead favoring the more industry-standard letter grade system. This represents an opportunity for Coeo Space, coFactor ranks amenities submitted by property owners, instead of doing original research like CoStar and hopes to become a industry standard rating source much like LEED’s sustainability certification system.
There have been many companies that have tried and failed to claw there way into the competitive commercial listing market. There seem to be even more that are jumping into the fray, VTS expects to have its Truva marketplace up and covering their home turf of NYC by this fall. Marketplaces have network effects that can make it hard to challenge an incumbent with lots of market share. But even the most strategic positions often fall to innovative upstarts, just ask the retail giants of yesteryear, if you can still find them.”

Local commercial real estate platform adds co-CEO – By: Mike Larson

Article Written by: Mike Larson on July 10th, 2019 from Pittsburgh Business Times

 

“Coeo, a commercial real estate technology platform, has added a new member to its leadership.

Sheila Samii Matuscak has officially joined Kim Ford as co-CEO, according to a release.

Coeo, which is headquartered in Pittsburgh and has outposts in Chicago and Phoenix, is currently active in 34 U.S. cities.

It launched earlier this year as a tech-enabled marketplace that allows brokers and tenants an efficient way to find and share commercial real estate.

Matuscak and Ford worked together as managing principals at Cresa before joining forces again at Coeo, the release said.

‘While I’m thrilled to be working with Kim again, it was the potential of the Coeo platform that was the real draw,’ Matuscak said in a statement. ‘This technology is simply too exciting — I had to be a part of revolutionizing our fragmented industry — so I jumped at the opportunity to help lead the company.'”