Many employers these days are trying to figure out how they can attract some of the top talent from Generation Y. Today, we continue our exploration of Gen Y and look at how adjusting aspects of your workplace structure could help attract this group.
In the end, remember that all of this comes down to what you are able to do and what makes sense for your business. In a nutshell, the more excited about and inspired by their work and work environment, the more productive your Gen Y workers will become. If your company does not implement all these ideas, Gen Y applicants will likely not be as excited about the work environment you offer, but it’s not going to totally scare them away either! And if you fall short of ideal (and most places do!), help to offset by offering great benefits and an environment that fosters creativity and innovation. Those go a long way, too.
Evaluating your workspace
For starters, what is the physical workspace like? One recent trend is the concept of an open office setup—essentially workstations that completely lack walls between employees. While some of the seasoned employees in your company may have reservations about the idea, it’s definitely something Gen Y is running with. And why is that? Well, these new set-ups foster conversation and collaboration between employees. One thing many Gen Y workers dislike is an overly structured environment, so they oftentimes prefer not to feel boxed in and isolated by high cubicle walls.
In many cases, it may be difficult to completely redo your workstations, but as a component of the modern office, it’s something many Gen Y applicants like. And if you already have traditional cubicle walls, they are often constructed in segments. You may have the ability to take down the top segment of the wall. While this would not put your space at the level of “open office,” it would remove some of the physical barrier between employees while also leaving some level of privacy for those who need it.
How formally are your employees required to dress? While you don’t need to open up the rules on flip flops and tank tops, the upcoming generation does prefer a more casual, laid-back environment. You don’t have to completely compromise and allow jeans…unless you really want to! Perhaps after some honest self-evaluation, you realize that a business suit is not necessary or that not every day requires a tie. Ultimately, it’s something you’ll have to thoughtfully consider to determine what’s best for your situation.
An option to telecommute?
And last, what is the overall workplace structure like? Do your employees have the option to work from home? Admittedly, some jobs really must be done in the office. But if the job can be done from home, why not consider it? When constructing telecommuting options, it’s actually possible for you to save money in overhead because employees who work from home don’t need an office or cubicle.
What’s important to understand here is motivation and why Gen Y loves this option so much. On the surface, the desire may appear to stem from the opportunity to sit at home and do less work but still get paid. However, it’s actually quite the opposite. Gen Y workers are pros at mixing work and life together, and they generally dislike having a set time of day where they’re supposed to be working or not working. When allowed to telecommute, they can get an incredible amount done by working at times that best promote productivity for them.
This week’s top jobs