Workplaces around the world are gearing up to say goodbye to Baby Boomers and give a big welcome to millennials. As their numbers swell up to 73 million in 2019, the millennial generation is set to take up the largest portion of the workforce, even outnumbering baby boomers. It’s important for employers to understand that millennials’ expectations for the work environment are more unique than any generation to come before them.
The differences are huge: whereas baby hoomers have a reputation of staying put at the same company for years at a time, millennials are much more likely to switch jobs, and six in 10 are always open to new job opportunities. As the older generation of workers retires, employers must find new ways to connect with this new wave of employees if they want to successfully attract and retain them.
Here are five practical steps employers can take to make the workplace more accommodating to millennials:
1. Say goodbye to cubicles
Long gone are the days of dark and dingy high-walled cubicles: Employers who want to attract millennials certainly won’t do so by holding onto their old cubicles. However, not every office needs to make a huge switch to a completely different open concept design. There are plenty of ways to find a happy medium by using mid-high cubicles, group work stations, and sit-stand desks.
This new mix is part of a trend called activity-based work design, wherein offices create an environment designed to encourage activity and physical movement, while also creating quiet zones with noise-canceling panels and even sound booths for those who want total privacy to make phone calls.