By Andrei Login
There’s nothing more daunting than spending every day in a dull and boring office cranking out work in a small cubicle. Besides turning you into a lifeless robot, monotony also takes a significant toll on productivity and work quality. Millennials and generation Z-ers, which are now the largest age group in the workforce, prefer collaboration and constant changes over the comfort of routine. Adapted to the fast pace of the modern world, they need a workplace that doesn’t only promote work efficiency but encourages self-expression and creativity.
Here are 6 essential amenities in every office:
1. First and foremost, coffee
That humanity works on coffee is perhaps one of the most important truths in today’s working environment. And millennials are all about whole beans and European-style coffee. A report by The Specialty Coffee Association of America revealed that people in “generation M” are the main consumers of specialty coffee due to the popularity of coffee chains such as Starbucks. So, having good espresso machines in every office kitchen could be the number one factor in the millennials’ level of productivity.
2. Plants are more important than you think
It might seem surprising to find out that your office is quite a toxic environment, and we’re not talking about that annoying co-worker that gets angry about everything. Recirculated AC can make the air both stale and germ-ridden while paint, carpets, printers, and other electronic devices can emit harmful substances. That’s why plants should be a high priority in every office. Firstly, they act as a green filter that soaks in dangerous chemicals and give off much-needed oxygen, while also being a great humidifier. In addition, studies show that working near plants increases focus and productivity.
3. Artificial light is out of the question
While glass-facade buildings have been the norm for the last half century, many employees in modern offices are still relying on old-school neon lights, and eye strain is a common issue. In some offices, walls and furniture prevent sunlight from reaching people located further away from the windows. Removing tall furniture and other clever uses of space can better distribute natural light, bringing it to the center of the office without the need of eye-straining artificial light. If that’s not possible, workspaces can be rotated, so that all employees get some window time.
4. Big cities need bike storage
As many residents of metropolises such as Portland and San Francisco are slowly turning away from cars and towards the humble bike, offices should encourage this shift. Millennials are now the least likely generation to own a driver’s license, so one of the most sought-after amenities in the modern workplace is a safe and reliable way to store bicycles. Ideally, a dedicated room can be made available, allowing riders to do repair work and store helmets, rain jackets and other cycling gear as well as bikes. If there’s not enough space indoors, converting a tiny fraction of the parking lot into racks won’t bother anyone. In addition, pedaling to work usually involves working up quite a sweat, so showers and locker rooms are a must in the modern office.
5. Why go home when you can go to the gym?
Perhaps the favorite word of millennials in the workforce is “flexibility.” With less rigid schedules and the possibility of telecommuting, the line between the workplace and private life is quickly blurring. So, why not kill two birds with one stone? Having a gym or sports pitch on the premises can significantly boost employee energy and focus, as well as improve the level of teamwork between colleagues. On top of that, going to gym at the office will save workers plenty of time that they would have spent travelling between places. Meditation rooms are also a great way to relieve stress and bad thoughts during work breaks.
6. Pet-friendly offices are here to stay
Imagine your best buddy sitting there next to you, wagging his tail with no care in the world, while you’re working on quarterly reports. What can be better than bringing your dog to work? Luckily, there are already many offices and co-working space across the US doing that; in fact, 8% of all businesses in the country now have an open policy towards pets. Besides ending your worries about their wellbeing at home, bringing your furry friend to work can be a massive productivity boost, as well as a great way to socialize with workmates. Bear in mind that some people might not feel comfortable in such an environment due to allergies or phobias. It’s also important to keep pets vaccinated and well-trained to avoid any disease or other incidents in the workplace.
The modern office sure has changed in recent years. While relatively new to the workforce, millennials and Gen Z-ers have already challenged the traditional approaches and transformed the workplace into a more dynamic teamwork-focused place.