Workplace needs and their support: are millennials different from other generations?

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Nowadays, employees are seen as key assets of knowledge organisations who increasingly struggle to attract the best potential talent from a declining workforce. The office environment is considered to be an important way to support the needs of the newest generation – the millennials – and thus attract and retain them. This study therefore aimed to create more evidence-based insights for Corporate Real Estate Managers (CREM) in how to support specific workplace needs of millennials. The three most important workplace needs of millennials were first identified as sociability with colleagues, opportunity to grow and work-life balance, followed by analyses of how the physical workplace is expected to best support them. Next, hypotheses were developed and tested on differences between millennials and other generations on these needs and the perceived workplace support.
A survey among 302 Dutch office employees from 3 generations provided the necessary data, which were tested with bivariate correlation and ANOVA analysis. Findings indicate that millennials attach more value to the need for coaching and professional growth and less value to the balance between leisure and work than generation X does. Regarding physical workplace aspects, in total thirteen unique physical workplace aspects were identified as perceived support for workplace needs. Again millennials differed from generation X, as they found accessibility of colleagues and informal work areas/break-out zones more important in support of their need for sociability with colleagues. The oldest generation of Baby boomers found IT-services for social networking more important than millennials. Regarding the opportunity to grow, baby boomers also perceived audio-visual equipment to be more important than the tech savvy millennials. Also unexpected, millennials find the ability to personalise their workstation more important than older employees to support their work-life balance. Future studies should further clarify support of needs of different generations and how CREM can create an office environment that accommodates and supports all.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings from the PRRES Conference - 2019
Subtitle of host publication25th Annual Conference
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventTwenty fifth annual Pacific Rim Real Estate Society conference (PRRES 2019) - Melbourne school of design, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 14 Jan 201916 Jan 2019


ConferenceTwenty fifth annual Pacific Rim Real Estate Society conference (PRRES 2019)
Abbreviated titlePRRES 2019
Internet address


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