The Millennial Difference
Born between 1979 and 2000, millennials are rapidly redefining how everyone lives, plays and works. Concepts like the sharing economy have established new norms in how we commute (Uber and Grab) and how we live (Airbnb).
At work, millennials are becoming increasingly influential and will make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025.
The millennial perception: Millennials and their working habits and traits have been a topic of much debate, but they are mostly misunderstood. Earlier generations have labelled them disloyal and entitled.
In many workplaces, corporate culture is traditionally top-down and rigid, with mandated working hours, seating arrangements, and stipulated lunch breaks.
According to a study by Intelligence Group, many millennials aspire to be their own boss, enjoy flexible working arrangements, and value good worklife integration. They thrive as part of a wider community that has a shared purpose, and value interactions with other like-minded individuals with whom they can have meaningful collaborations with.
Traditional office spaces are not conducive to this flexibility, and in fact some are still designed to minimise or limit human interaction to the pantry and common areas in order to “enhance” employee productivity during office hours.
For employers, the work environment they offer could make all the difference when attracting and retaining talent or even when driving change within the organisation, given the impact the design of a workspace can have on the culture of an organisation.
This explains the immense growth and continued potential of the co-working sector. Co-working operators offer customisable spaces for anyone from a single freelancer through to enterprises looking for spaces spaces to fit up to 200 employees.
In the past year at JustCo, we have seen a 50% surge in demand from enterprises looking to open satellite offices, or house specific departments. In the next five years, the share of enterprise members is expected to increase to 70-80%, led by an increasing demand for service-driven workspaces and community programming.
About 40% of the existing members of JustCo, both individuals and employees, are millennials, making up the single largest group across our spaces.
As millennials begin to take on senior management roles, corporations are adopting flexible working arrangements to meet the needs of the evolving employee culture. Research by CBRE shows that among the top five concerns, millennials in Asia Pacific place high emphasis on time spent commuting, and a good office location, while 71% are willing to trade other work benefits for a well-designed office.
An example of this is Wilson Associates, a luxury interior design firm with a 100-strong headcount. Its Singapore office shifted from a commercial building in Tampines earlier this year to a 930-square-metre space within JustCo’s flagship location at Marina Square in November 2018.
The move was spurred by organisational growth and the need for flexibility to customise space to meet the needs of the organisation and its employees. In its new space, the team is able to tap into community facilities and engagement programmes to enhance interaction with other members and provide a heightened focus on wellness.
Cost efficiencies: On average, coworking spaces offer organisations substantial savings of between 25% and 45%. This allows them to redirect budgets to employee-focused activities such as wellness classes and workshops.
Co-working operators also cut down the need to source and negotiate rates with landlords, while also taking care of administrative duties such as cleaning, workplace maintenance, and providing services such as IT solutions and security as well as front-desk services, so companies can focus on their core business operations.
In addition to being a cost-efficient alternative to long-term leasing or purchasing real estate, co-working centres offer a quick, turnkey office solution, especially in markets where permit and legal processes can take months to complete.
Harnessing collaborative energy:Breaking the monotony of daily tasks, co-working spaces offer an opportunity for members to shuffle between work, networking and hobbies, all within the same space. Amenities run the gamut from enclosed phone cubicles for private conversations to ping pong tables and in-house cafes – all designed to meet the evolving work and leisure needs of different personalities.
Being part of a community also offers opportunities to tap into a network of professionals to collaborate, uncover complementary strengths, share insights or simply expand one’s professional network. At JustCo centres, over 30% of space is reserved for collaboration and interaction.
To help members truly connect, community managers design up to 700 hours of programmes yearly, giving members the opportunity to learn new skills or discuss the latest trends through talks and discussion panels, from bitcoin and chatbots to tips for launching a successful startup. Oneon-one business clinics by partners and members such as Dropbox also add value to other members by providing consultation services to meet business needs.
JustCo has more than 30 centres located across eight Asian cities, and plans to triple its regional footprint in Asia-Pacific within a year to 140,000 sq m by the first half of 2019. Clearly, co-working is no longer a trend but a force that reimagines the future of work completely, shaped by millennials, for generations to come.
Kong Wan Sing is the founder and CEO of JustCo, and international provider of co-working spaces.
“Breaking the monotony of daily tasks, co-working spaces offer an opportunity for members to shuffle between work, networking and hobbies, all within the same space.
Interested in rent office spaces contact CBRE
Source: Bangkok Post – 12 June 2019