By Jeff Lessard
In 2016, Millennials surpassed Gen X as the largest generation in the U.S. workforce, making up around 54% of workers. By 2020, they are expected to make up 75% of workers, making Millennials the top target for company leaders as they strive to win the war for talent—attracting and retaining employees that will provide an advantage over their competitors. Though this is a top priority amongst CEOS and Human Resources professionals, companies continue to struggle in this regard.
The most forward-thinking companies are using a variety of strategies and tactics to speak to the unique needs and aspirations of this generation, and the workplace experience is often at the center of these initiatives. In 2018, what do the best workplaces look like? As we observe the industry, we see a clear trend: the adoption of residential and hospitality design concepts in commercial environments. Dubbed “resimercial,” this trend infuses comfort and familiarity into commercial office spaces, similar to hotels, thereby exciting the people using them whether they be travelers, entrepreneurs, or corporate professionals.
Unilever’s recently renovated campus in Englewood Cliffs, NJ is an excellent example of this resimercial trend. The campus is centered around a main atrium that is pierced with a variety of exciting spaces comparable to a boutique hotel or coworking space’s lobby. Employees use the main atrium at different times of the day in various ways, and with its new look and feel, Unilever’s campus creates an exciting work environment – increasing engagement among existing employees and serving as a differentiator for the company in the eyes of prospective talent.
How to Create a Resimercial Workplace
Diversity of furniture. Use many different furniture types, textures, and materials – chairs, stools, tables, etc. This lends visual interest and mirrors how the best boutique hotels express hospitality.
Serendipitous interactions. Design space with a traffic “cross roads” in mind, so that people naturally cross paths and have the opportunity to connect. Bathrooms, breakrooms, coffee bars, and the lobby area are great for this.
Blurred lines. Provide for an easy flow between hospitality and work areas.
Multiple use. The most dynamic spaces provide for multiple uses across the work day, and are truly “24/7” – work, live, play.
Know Your Audience. It is essential to conduct research on your target demographic to uncover your employees’ unique needs in the workplace. Experience comes in all sizes, shapes, and forms, and to get the most out of your investment employee needs should dictate the nature of your workplace experience.
Create an Ecosystem of Amenities. Amenities are much more effective when designed in a fluent matter. Think of your workplace not as a set of isolated amenities, but as a sequence of spaces that can provide employees with multiple types of environments for different tasks and behaviors throughout the day.
Use Experience To Drive Brand Value. Create a place that employees are excited to come back to everyday. Employees will not only be more engaged and connected to their work, but will also be more likely to share their experience with peers who might then be interested in joining your organization.
Frictionless working for guests. Enable free Wi-Fi and multiple areas to drop down and work or/ take a call so that guests feel as if they are in their home office.
Sound. Consider music in the background, even at a low volume, to lead the space energy and interest. Invite different employee teams the opportunity to program the music for a day.
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