Back in November of last year I cited a study by CBRE that seemed to debunk several myths about the Millennial generation and the office environment. The essence of the study was that while Millenials had certain preferences and attitudes about the workplace, in general there was little difference between the generations about their desire for workplace flexibility, preferences for urban settings, more collaboration, and more autonomy. However, in a recent article about Millenials in the March 15 issue of Fortune magazine, the theme of the article is about how to attract and retain the Millennial generation.
In my last Blog posting I covered the subject of co-working; an office concept which entails using office space on a shared basis. Unlike executive suite operations such as Regus serviced offices; co-working is less formal, collaborative and aimed at the millennial generation. Co-working is growing rapidly in most major urban areas, particularly in central business districts. The outlook for growth is stunning, with nearly 2000 locations anticipated within five years. One of the most successful operators, Wework, now has a market cap of over $5 billion, with no slowing in growth expected.
But co-working is not without its drawbacks.
The primary driver of this growth is the rise of the contingent worker, which represents about one third of the US workforce according to government estimates. With the advent of mobile technology and cloud computing, millennials, those between the ages of 20-35, seek non-traditional work environments as well as a sense of community. Co-working meets these needs by offering informal and edgy workplaces, and a spectrum of services that might include WiFi, marketing training, social events, and even conferences aimed at the young, independent entrepreneurs.