7 surprising things millennials really want upgraded

7 surprising things millennials really want upgraded

As the tech generation, Millennials get a bad rap. But what we really love is purpose, from paying a little more for products that support our favorite charities to working in an environment where we feel creative and healthy.

Like those in every generation before them, Millennials strive for a life well-lived. They want good jobs — ones with 30-plus hours of work a week and regular paychecks from employers. They also want to be engaged in those jobs, meaning they are emotionally and behaviorally connected to them. In addition to finding steady, engaging jobs, Millennials want to have high levels of well-being, which means more than being physically fit. Yes, Millennials want to be healthy, but they also want a purposeful life, active community and social ties, and financial stability.

You may think Millennials want a ping pong table and slide in the office. While those don’t hurt, what Millennials really want is a life, work, and health upgrade.

Here are seven things Millennials want to be upgraded at the office.

  1. Seating

    With all the time spent at a desk these days, Millennials want upgraded office chairs. Chairs that are comfortable and supportive, reducing lower back pain and keeping the body in an ergonomic position.

    Mesh chairs allow more airflow while accent chairs and lounge chairs allow workers to get away from the desk from time to time to catch up on reading and notes.

  2. Lighting

    With so much time spent in front of screens—and not only in the office—Millennials desire lighting that illuminates effectively while simultaneously reducing eye-strain.

    Try updating wall fixtures and your overhead lighting. Floor lamps are practical in frustratingly dark and dull corners, and they also add a little more visual interest to the room. If you don’t want to completely change your fixtures, then try swapping out your bulbs to create a different or brighter feel.

    Bonus points for office furniture and decor that is both purposeful and visually inspiring.

  3. Conference room

    Millennials value their time as much as their tech. Boring conference room meetings that accomplish little will just not do. That once-boring conference room can, however, become a place of idea generation and collaboration with some tweaks including office furrniture specifically for collaborative workspaces.

    colorful conference room

    Classic whiteboards still work. Just add some fun Zenergy™ Chairs and side tables to hold stickie notes and tablets to provide multiple ways to store and share all the ideas your team comes up with.

  4. Technology

    Yes, you knew this one was coming. Of course, the tech generation would want their technology upgraded.

    As Art Papas, the founder and CEO of Bullhorn, Inc. says, “Millennials don’t look at technology as an extra. They expect to be able to use it in all aspects of their lives, including at home, in the community, and on the job.”

    You don’t have to overhaul all your systems. Just look for creative ways to allow your team to integrate technology into their day that will make all the work they do more effective.

  5. Food and drink

    Some may still want donuts, but many Millennials are knowledgeable and on board with all the growing health trends. Providing a variety of coffee, green juices, and healthier food choices is an easy way to upgrade your office environment and keep everyone healthier and happier.

    After all, nutrition bars and specialty creamers make the office go round.

    guy drinking green smoothie at work
  6. Flexibility

    From flexible work schedules to standing desks and movable furniture, Millennials want the ability to move around.

    You can upgrade your work environment by creating open spaces with movable furniture. Also, consider allowing your team to work from home or a nearby cafe one day a week and see how it goes. You may just be surprised at how much work is accomplished on “mobile days”.

  7. Sustainability

    Millennials want to work for companies that care; ones they can be proud be part of knowing that they are giving back and protecting the environment.

    You can upgrade your office’s sustainability in so many ways. Reduce paper usage and clutter. Change out your light bulbs to more energy efficient ones. Think quality over quantity and consider donating outdated office items to a local charity.

    According to the Deloitte Millennial Survey, “87 percent of Millennials view a successful business as going beyond financial metrics to focus on issues such as product quality and safety, stakeholder satisfaction, and environmental and social impact.”

When looking to draw in Millennial talent, remember:

Millennials are, in essence, “venture consumers”. They’re not looking to fill a slot in a faceless company, any more than a good venture capitalist is looking to toss money at a faceless startup. They’re looking strategically at opportunities to invest in a place where they can make a difference, preferably a place that itself makes a difference.

Shara Senderoff for Forbes

How do you support Millennials in the workplace? Let us know in the comments.