Office culture, layout, and structure have been rapidly changing together with the pace of technological advancement. Fixed cubicles, indirect communications through structured hierarchies and absolute quietness is now considered outdated, which most college students find undesirable, not necessarily a deal breaker though (because we desperately need a job). Even though pretty much nothing can really top the importance of name brand and reputation, there are still solid variables that differentiate a company within the same tier. Plus, there are still a big group of talented people remaining in the pool after those big name companies have filled their positions. There are certain perspectives of office culture and office layout that attracts typical college students of the current generation.
Many upcoming graduates dream of working in a transparent, vibrant, and lively creative space. If you ask anyone about what their dream office looks like, you can simply google the headquarters for Google, or go watch the movie "The Intern." Many of us are now unconsciously subjected to these high standards due to the internet and media in general and have become pickier than ever before. After further analyzing how these "perfect" offices appeal to upcoming or recent graduates, we've come up with a few essential points that help with the first impressions of the company.
Sunlight and air are crucial for workers to survive.
Many of us are especially inclined to offices that are spacious and are equipped with giant windows. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, allowing natural sunlight and fresh air to circulate around the room, but it makes the office look a lot more energized and uplifting. Past this superficial reason, sunlight and fresh air are obviously beneficial to our health and body in various ways, like mental healing and strengthening our immune system. The availability of fresh air derived from a spacious office keep workers awake, and feeling fresh for the entirety of the day.
I do not want to wear a suit every day, don't make me.
Let's be frank, millennials are spoiled and troublesome in some ways, but in many ways many of us are more innovative than ever before. Having a strict, formal daily dress code is frankly a huge downer for us and our creative juices. It dreads many to think about getting dressed in a tight suit every tiresome morning and have to constantly take care of those dress suits, sometimes paying hundreds of dollars to keep them neat and clean. Not trying to make a request for wearing beach shorts or flip flops, however, many would look forward to dressing comfortably to work in an office. Besides, it also helps to set a lively tone in an office that contributes to a creative atmosphere which is important for industries like media etc.
Reasonable social interactions and freedom
Rules in offices are extremely important in contributing to an organized company, but some traditional rules ought to be loosened up. We're not sure how many companies still refrain their office workers from listening to music while working, but personally, music is a great way to better focus on work and be inspired. Also, the freedom to socialize with other colleagues in the office is almost a bottom line for many when it comes to choosing a company since working in an individual cubicle in absolute quietness for most of the work hour is not something that anyone would look forward to every morning these days. Besides, it is mostly through social interactions that we get cool ideas and perspectives from. Thus, being able to socialize reasonably can actually be more beneficial than harm (i.e. distraction) in workplaces and industries currently.
The wonders of a transparent, inclusive office
How can natural socializing happen in an office? It very much depends on the layout of the office. Like we said, assigning workers to individual cubicles tend to minimize both verbal and nonverbal communication. An open and transparent office like the ones we tend to see on the silver screen nowadays will facilitate communications between workers. Buzzfeed's socializing culture portrayed in their videos and their seemingly open office have successfully attracted a lot of college students, despite the fact that the office itself is not as shockingly gorgeous or modern as other tech companies, and that there are some not-so-good rumors floating around. Also, regardless of the controversial debate about the effectiveness, having an open and transparent office will definitely attract more applicants solely due to the positive feelings it provokes.
Workplace is a great outlet for friendship too
After graduating college and leaving its extremely pro-social environment, many graduates would prioritize workplaces that create close bonds between workers. For team projects and jobs that require collaborations, it will be a lot more comfortable to work with people that you have connections with than a barely-known colleague. Hence, referring back to the layout of the office, it would be smart to follow the modern trend of having unassigned workstations for colleagues to work. Not only will it enhance a natural social scene, but being able to constantly change a work environment leads to a higher rate in productivity. In general, and pretty obviously, a company that successfully nurtures friendships between employees, reflects a happier and more attractive culture.
If the office offers fun traditions like my college does?
Speaking of culture, many would say that is an important element to build a sense of belonging within a community. The unique college traditions make students a lot more engaged, united, and simply light up the community. Not that we are advocating an insane, out-of-the-world tradition, but subtle ones like gift-exchange, movies at lunch break, or maybe a spa day is a good addition to building the company's image recruitment wise. Again, it would also make employees look forward to going to work and to stay in the company instead of dragging their bodies and minds to work merely for that one paycheck.
Wait, but don't go too crazy with the transparency, I'd still like some privacy
There's got to be places and stations in a more private setting despite the crazily desired openness that people love nowadays. Sometimes, for important projects that require an ultra amount of attention, having a corner or a quiet room would be a blessing. For a mostly-extrovert like many of you reading this, there are still days that you'd like to be undisturbed and alone. Having a set of workstations catering these purposes would make these people's day.
Chairs that I can sit in for days
We cannot stress how important a good chair is when working. Investing in quality office chairs minimizes the chances of one suffering from back pain. With a firmly supportive mesh back and the ability to recline, it will keep the workers more attentive as they don't have to worry about changing posture to reduce any discomfort. Aeron Chairs by Herman Miller is a trending office chair who has been in museums and countless movies. Not only are they comfy, they also make the office look more professional and "luxurious." Even the movie "The Intern" features the Aeron Chairs due to its reputation. An Aeron Chair can be expensive, but you can get the refurbished ones which provide the same experience but with a much lower cost at places like Beverly Hills Chairs
Food and drink is all that matters
Last but not least, this is what every college student is obsessed with - food and an unlimited supply of caffeine! Needless to say, food is basically what our soul craves. Nothing would beat a fully stocked pantry with a variety of snacks ranging from healthy bars to guilty junks. We could totally survive in a poorly designed and mundane office with a huge selection of food and drinks!
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