Making Meaning of a Millennial Workplace

The moment we all feared is finally here. The last of the Millennial Generation is entering the workplace and Gen Z is rising up fast behind them.

In fact, this year, Gen Z is predicted to surpass the Millennial population, with the two generations combined making up 60% of the world’s total population.

Millennials Aren’t Special

Regardless of what generation you are a part of, there’s no denying the Millennials have been a media obsession and the butt end of jokes for the past few decades. Despite the constant coverage, science actually states that the Millennial Generation acts almost exactly the same in their 20s and 30s as every generation before did in their 20s and 30s. Sounds fake, but it makes sense. In some cases, Millennials are even less radical in their young adulthood than their generational counterparts — yes, that statement is directed to you, Boomers.

Considering their size and rise of technology, Millennials quickly became a hyper-sensationalized topic. So much so that there are over 17 billion Google results for articles on industries that Millennials are supposedly responsible for “killing.” So, the Y2K panic that settled in surrounding how Millennials will change the workplace was no surprise.

Starting in the early 2000s, the new Millennials found themselves entering a workforce of stigma and predisposed hatred. The media spent a decade painting a dystopian future of human-turned-robots drooling at a desk surrounded by screens, unable to engage in the present around them. Even movies perpetuated the idea of Millennials bringing selfish, lazy, and impractical attitudes to every industry with big silver screen titles like “The Intern” and “The Internship.”

The Millennial Dream

The reality of the situation is that Millennials crave the same that everyone else did at their age: love, purpose, and meaning in their work.

With technology, Millennials had the means to successfully pursue those values.

For previous generations, change on a massive scale was often an insurmountable institution. Voicing a desire to work in an office that reflected the same values and morals of the employee was the same as wishing on a star: spoken words sent into a void without any course of action.

The Millennial dream isn’t an original idea. People searching for purpose in their lives and meaning in their work make up the primary storylines of human existence.

Maybe it was the technology, maybe it was the size of their generation or a combination of both but Millennials took their simple little dream and radicalized the world. They went on to challenge the mold of consumerism, communication, and capitalism.

Office Utopia

Ultimately, what the younger generation is seeking isn’t radical at all. In fact, studies show that their goals align with the same goals as their older colleagues. A working Millennial is looking for the following in a career:

  • Salary
  • Stability
  • Benefits
  • Flexibility
  • Personal connection

In exchange, the workplace “babies” are bringing once rare skills to the table. These young digital immigrants and digital natives thrive in environments that allow for collaborative teamwork and emphasize goals.
Their “Carpe Diem” attitude means they will pursue a job and purpose that meets their criteria without fear of floating from job to job until they’ve found success — however they choose to define that word for themselves. Today’s society allows Millennials to follow their prerogative of a higher purpose, rewarding the office environments that make proper treatment of their employees a central objective of their process.

You Get What You Pay For

As an employer ourselves, we suggest embracing a Millennial perspective in the office. As the classic saying goes, “You get what you pay for.” If you are paying minimum wage, it shouldn’t be surprising to receive minimum effort from your employees in return. Millennials have shown that they are masters of the figurative two-way street. In a trade of goods and services, Millennials are firm in trading in terms of equal or greater value.

Gone are the days when authority and promises were viable options for compensation. In the face of rising living costs but stagnant wage prices, this generation and the one following will be prioritizing how to live sustainably without compromising their ideals. This means that workplaces will need to start prioritizing benefits, flexibility, community, and interestingly enough, collaborative office spaces.

How To Evolve

Because teamwork and technology are two of the most words in a Millennial’s work experience vocabulary, your office should be equipped to entertain both of those comfortably. Here at Fractal, we have created several options for office plans that capitalize on how Millennials and younger generations work best.

Maximizing your workspace to best meet your employees’ needs and wants is a smart move for today’s workforce. While long-term changes might be in store for your company (benefits aren’t instilled overnight!), an immediate change to the physical office is always a good idea. Focusing on creating open and collaborative spaces best fits with the preferred communication style of Millennials.

Call Fractal today to discuss the best options for transforming your office place into one that works as well for your employees as they do for you.

Phenomenal Offices Across America

In the first part of our blog, we covered the best open office concept headquarters to boost morale and community within a company. Today we’re going to add another six to our original list that not only found balance in private and open spaces but also added cool amenities to their business spaces that benefit the individual well being of an employee without sacrificing the well being of the company.

The Inventionland Design Factory is a place where ideas for toys and products come to life. There are 16 unique sets in the building for employees to work such as a pirate ship, a tree house, a ballpark, and a motor speedway. They even have “Iventalot Castle,” where designers can hold meetings at a round table. One thing is for sure, there are no dull ideas here!

  • Giphy – Manhattan, NY

This office is as fun and quirky as gifs themselves are. Giphy is one of the top gifs suppliers to social media platforms with an office that feels like a big college dorm. The company eats a catered lunch together every day and hangs polaroid from company events on the refrigerators. Much like their work, the office’s art is also totally animated. Moving neon signs of the most popular search terms such as “side eye” or “mind blown,” adorn the walls of meeting rooms. The room lighting changes colors from purple, yellow, red, blue, and green to match their branded color scheme. Even the static objects are bursting with personality, from them with weird stock photos printed on decorative pillows to the fake, life-sized, black horse the employees lovingly “adopted.”

This dog-friendly, all natural, brightly sunlit office definitely caught our eye. The collaboration company encourages the creative brain of its employees to the max. Employees often work away from their desks, opting to enjoy a more open and collaborative workspace such as the library. There is a wood shop and seminars offered by the employees themselves about things they love, as a part of Kickstarter’s “Always Be Learning” program. There are plenty of indoor and outdoor gardens where the company holds events and meetings when the weather permits. The fresh air and wide open spaces give their workers the ability to create strong bonds with each other while producing quality work at the same time.

  • Nike – Beaverton, OR

There is no doubt that Nike is serious when it comes to quality and healthy lifestyles for all athletes — which they define as anyone with a body. Their world headquarters has been developed on over 400 acres of land in the Northwest Pacific and includes a football field, a soccer field, outdoor track, biking trails in the surrounding forest, basketball courts, and an indoor Olympic sized swimming pool. Nike has a museum dedicated to the founders, hallways lined with candid photos of over 200 respected athletes in their field, and buildings named for some of the greatest players of all time like Michael Jordan and Mia Hamm.

Endearingly named “the Seattle Spheres,” part of Amazon’s headquarters is quite literally 3 glass domes located right in the middle of downtown Seattle. The online shopping company opens up the spheres to the public for free two Saturdays of the month for unguided tours. Inside the spheres is a dog park, whale-themed cafeteria (no worries, no actual whale food!), indoor garden exhibit, and museum-style exhibits.

Known for their cheeky and flippant disposition towards almost everything, the interior office design of the irreverent card game’s workspace shows a very different side of the corporation. The company itself has done some incredibly fun things like buying an island, naming it Hawaii 2, and opening it up as a public park but they’ve made it clear that their office is not one of them. Unlike most popular companies, Cards Against Humanity does not offer tours of their headquarters, reasoning on their website that, “you’ll find it boring. We’re just an office of people working quietly. The more interruptions we get, the less we get done, and then it’s all over…” Instead, the company asks that fans explore other fun things to do within the Chicago community like the theatre, museums, and board game bars. While the game lauds off-color situations, the office is anything but. Made out of old shipping containers, there is a combination of private rooms and open spaces, with hidden mediation rooms for employees to escape the thick, sarcastic air that lovingly fills the building.

At Fractal, we’re thrilled to see all the adoptions of an organized office building that promotes creativity, collaboration, flexibility, and healthy alternatives to sitting in stereotypical cubicles for 40 hours a week. To learn more about how to implement some of these techniques to better your workspace, Fractal has all the information you need!

Epic Offices in the United States

Are you currently looking around the three walls of your cubicle at work wondering how you ended up in such a closed off workspace? It’s 2019, human beings should have definitely figured out more inclusive and productive ways to open up office spaces by now. Good news is that they have! The bad news is that you don’t work in one right now. We’ve put together a list of the coolest office designs across America, so you can live vicariously through others.

If you’ve been single in the last 10 years, chances are you’ve tried online dating. One of the top online dating apps, Bumble, flexes their interior decorating skills as much as their matchmaking ones. The headquarters has a bee-centered theme we’re sure you’ll be buzzing about. Honeycomb patterns are tastefully interspersed on staircases, accent walls, and tiled floors. The bright yellow interior remains lively and themed artwork in private meeting rooms collage the walls with phrases like “bee kind” and “make the first move.”

Most of us who were old enough in the early 2000s probably still have our old Nokia brick cell phones, widely known for being virtually indestructible. Nokia is definitely still around and their office space in California gets a Fractal A+ in our book! Their creative workspace is almost entirely an open office concept, with windows and partitions in certain areas to allow for more private conversations if needed. Vibrant colors like orange, green, yellow, and blue breathe life into the furniture and rooms. The large windows let natural light in, making Nokia a sunny place to be in both literally and physically.

Another Fractal approved, unique office space is the Urban Outfitter’s campus in Pittsburgh that was renovated out of an old navy shipyard. The 350,000+ square feet of the dilapidated industrial building was completely remodeled to create a stunning collaborative workspace for the employees. Everything is housed on campus from all of the company’s brand offices to a library, coffee house, and cafeteria.

The office of this website hosting platform has utilized glass windows in one of our favorite ways. In a chic and sleek manner, the company has crafted the inside of its headquarters almost entirely out of glass walls, partitions, and railings. The dark wood, black, white, and gray furniture keep the office grounded in professionalism while the bright sunlight of the SoHo neighborhood pours in.

  • Etsy – Brooklyn, NY

The innovative headquarters of Etsy definitely lives up to the inventive, vintage, e-commerce company’s aesthetic. The office design is focused on encouraging work in collaborative spaces, both outside and inside, with plenty of community tables in their rooftop garden, terrace, green library, and lofts. There are private rooms for extreme focus or small meetings but the office is largely open with big windows, comfy chairs, and even the occasional dog meandering around. A cool addition to the building is that all of the artwork decorations were created by Etsy sellers themselves.

  • AirBnB – San Francisco, CA

We’re obsessed with AirBnB’s balance of private and communal organized workspace in their west coast headquarters! Keeping with the general theme of individualized “houses” around the world, different wings of the building are named after locations like Johannesburg, Mumbai, and Cairo. The breakout spaces are simple with plenty of furniture and open space to facilitate constructive conversations while the “work caves” and phone rooms are more closed and intended for private, reserved conversations between small teams or partners.

You may be surprised that big companies like Google and Lego didn’t make our list. Don’t be! They’re still really awesome places to work, but we wanted to focus on companies that maybe haven’t had their interior design achievements highlighted as often. Turns out, you don’t need to be a huge corporation to totally rock an inclusive workplace that boosts morale and community among employees. Interested in learning how to convert your office into a supportive and more collaborative space? Fractal has all the organization tools and planning you need to get the job done.

Modern Office ideas Your Workspace Needs

Office Features Employees Love

As an owner of a business, you will have to ensure that your employees are surrounded by a positive work environment. In order to do so, you should ensure that your workers are comfortable and happy to be at work. In this blog, we will go over some of the features you might want to include in your office. By doing so, you can improve your office’s environment and create a welcoming environment for customers and your employees.

Caffeinate Yourself

Coffee is the magical potion that seems to revive most people over the age of 18. Once you have a job, build a career, and even have children, coffee seems to be the best antidote to exhaustion in the mornings. One of the best ways to improve your office is by offering a coffee machine in your office. And, depending on the size of your office, you may want multiple coffee machines.
Why is coffee important? Well, coffee is a warm and delicious beverage that can excite your workers to begin their day. And, if they are struggling during their day from exhaustion, coffee is an excellent source of energy. Not only that, but workers will appreciate that they can make coffee at work, rather than going home and making a pot for themselves. Having an in-office coffee machine will also eventually save your workers money as they won’t need to spend money at the coffee shop.

A Break Room

Every office needs to encourage breaks. Not only are break mandatory, but they are necessary to promote mental health among your workers. Though it would be nice if we all could work with absolute focus from the beginning to the end of our day, humans can’t work this way. Eventually, our brains need a break and need to recoup from heavy labor. Regardless of your profession, whether it is physically or mentally demanding, breaks are absolutely essential to your health.
In your office break room, you should have supplies, such as plates, cups, utensils, and napkins. Though you do not need to have these items, it is a nice gesture to exchange between management and workers.
It is also important to stock your break room with chairs, tables, and even a game or two. Workers like to feel as though they have the ability they can redirect their mindset. Games, such as ping pong, fuzz ball, and pinball all offer workers to separate themselves from their work and rework their minds. Though you could have an office that is “all work and no play”, no one would want to work for a company with that sort of mentality. You should enjoy where you work, as well as be productive at the same time.

Gym or Physical Fitness Center

Water is an essential basic need of all life! As a manager, it is important that you let your employees know that their health is important to you. Gyms are a great way to demonstrate your compassion for employee health. Physical movement is scientifically proven to help balance mood, refocus the mind, and strengthen the body. With a gym located in your work building, you can offer your workers a great break area that they can take their mind off of their daily tasks.
Of course, not many businesses will have space or the funds to provide a gym for their employees. But. if you are considering features to include in your building, a physical fitness center is at the very top of the list.

Massage Chairs

Massage chairs are a necessity in an office space, but they are highly appreciated! With one of these incredible chairs, your workers can make the most out of their break and get some much needed “R-and-R.” Massage chairs are a great way to give your workers extra benefits and take time for themselves, away from their desk.

Provide a Comfortable Layout

Though coffee bars, massage chairs, and games are all nice, your office layout is everything when it comes to the environment of your workspace. Your office layout is directly responsible for the flow and quality of communication throughout your office. For instance, if you allow your workers to stay caged in white cubicles, they might feel suffocated by their work. With an open floor plan and purposeful collaborative workspaces, your business can achieve a higher level of productivity and communication.
How do you achieve an open layout? Well, you can design your current office to have an open plan, or you can contact Fractal Coworking.

Fractal Coworking: How We Help Businesses

At Fractal Coworking, we offer businesses designer office spaces for their workforce. Instead of staying in a dingy, old building, our service provides premier creative design to your office space. With our office spaces for rent, your business can lease out our incredibly designed and managed offices for as long as you would like. If you are interested in leasing a new, open space for your business to thrive, contact Fractal Coworking.

Why Businesses Should Be Compassionate About Workers

Your Workers Deserve Comfort and Compassion

As a boss, your job is to ensure that your workers feel comfortable in their work environment. When workers feel cramped or uncomfortable, they are less likely to work efficiently. As a leader, you want to ensure that you provide a work environment that your current employees will like and prospective employees will be enticed by. With that being said, as a leader, you should make sure that your office space is a comfortable place to work.
In this blog, we will give you ways to increase the compassion in your workplace. We hope, by reading this blog, that you will have a better understanding of what elements make a worker comfortable in an office. And, we also hope that you will use some of our suggestions and apply them to your current workplace.

Offer Support

You should always let your workers feel supported. If they have a place or a person to turn to when they need support, they will feel as though they are in a comfortable environment. For instance, if something were to happen at work, such as an argument between workers or even a harassment issue, your workers will want to know they are supported if they step forward.
Though you don’t have to advertise that you are the in-house counselor to your employees, it is important that they know at least one person who can receive complaints and offer support during a difficult time. Sometimes, even a little guidance to a worker can be enough to let them know their job cares about their well-being.

Encourage Socialization

Of course, some offices have strict numbers and goals to hit, however, showing that your business is more than just making money can be helpful for employees. Encouraging socialization among your workers can be a benefit not just to them, but to you as well. When workers are able to build good relationships with other staff, they can create a better sense of community in your office. This can be beneficial to you, as a boss, because it creates a more welcoming and friendly environment for your business.
You can encourage socialization in different ways, such as organizing holiday parties and other events. But, one of the best ways to encourage socialization is to allow co-workers to mingle and conversate during the workday. Allowing workers to take mini breaks to conversate with their “work buddies” is a great way to improve the environment in your office space.

Provide Amenities

Workers love amenities! After all, who wants to work in a dusty, old building with four white walls and a copy machine? Nobody! People want to be “wowed” by where they work and be proud to walk in every day. The best way to motivate your workers and give them a sense of pride is by offering amenities to where they work. These amenities can take many forms; such as a coffee break room, decorative hallways, and even well-furnished lounges.

Cultivate a Collaborative Environment

Business thrives when workers are collaborative. As a leader, you should always encourage collaboration among works and even encourage team building. When workers collaborate, they are much more likely to build off of each other’s ideas. Better still, when workers “carry the weight,” large projects are far less daunting and easily completed.

Fractal Coworking

Contact Fractal Coworking today if you are interested in business offices for rent. Our specialized office spaces are designed to encourage a friendly, collaborative environment for all of your workers. With our office spaces, your workers can not only able to relax, but be proud of where they work.

Do Collaborative Workspaces Work For Businesses?

Psychology Explains: Do Collaborative Workspaces Work?

The study of psychology tries to understand why humans behave the way that they do. As we have evolved, so have our work habits; instead of swinging from vines, we now work at desks. Psychology tries to understand this evolutionary change and how humans have adapted to it. For instance, how do humans respond to work environments, what makes them feel comfortable, and what factors encourage workflow?
In this blog, we will be discussing how a collaborative workspace can psychologically encourage your employees to work better and faster.

Established Sense of Community

Even before your workers get started on their jobs, they need to know that they are being ushered into a welcoming work environment. More importantly, your business should establish that new workers can go to other workers to ask questions about their job. When you foster a more inclusive environment, you are much more likely to give your business a comfortable feeling. Workers who are ignored or punished when they ask questions, are less likely to feel like their work environment supports them. Businesses should learn to support their workers, especially when they are learning how to do their job. Expecting that someone is hired and doesn’t require a learning curve isn’t realistic.
Aside from establishing an inviting community, you should also make sure that you show off the sense of community that your offices can bring. One of the major benefits of a collaborative work environment is that socialization among co-workers is increased. By having an open area to work, employees feel more inclined to converse with each other, not just for business-related topics. Of course, this can be a double-edged sword, as socialization in business can also diminish productivity. However, with a better sense of community, workers can feel more comfortable to work, which can have an effect on the overall quality of their work.

Increase Communication and Idea Creation

In collaborative environments, ideas are able to be shared. Communication in these types of work environments is also magnified, as workers don’t have to travel or dial a number to contact their co-workers. In an open space, workers can communicate effectively and create new ideas. Better still, these ideas can be built off of each other, which can catapult ideas from small thoughts to real-life innovations.
Though collaboration can be an exciting prospect for businesses, psychology also warns about natural human behavior. For instance, the psychological phenomenon, Groupthink, is always a concern for businesses. This means that a group of people wish to agree on the same things in order to maintain a sense of unity and conformity. As a result of this, ideas and thoughts can be skewed to benefit the group and can alter decision-making processes.
Groupthink can be a dangerous concept for businesses, especially ones that expect to thrive and innovate. However, there are ways to make sure that groupthink does not happen to your office. In corporate businesses, collaborative workspaces can keep people engaged to think of new ideas. Though groupthink can occur, with a community of workers bouncing ideas off each other, it is less likely to happen.
Also, collaborative workspaces can combat groupthink using diversity. As a business, hiring many diverse people is important. When you only hire one type of person for your business, this is when groupthink can be risky. For instance, if you hire the same demographic of workers, they are likely to think similarly. Because of this, collaborative workspaces won’t work to innovate or encourage alternative thought. Instead, your business is likely to only think one way, and very strongly.

Workers Have More Control Of Their Jobs

With collaborative environments, workers generally feel as if they have more control over their jobs. In many collaborative workspaces, they are typically open 24/7, which means workers can utilize their own space when they have a deadline or when they want to show their own progress. And, open work environments also encourage workers to take breaks. In many businesses, work can be difficult and mentally taxing, by offering an open space that encourages breaks, you are subconsciously letting your workers know you care for their well being. This can help employees feel well-supported at their job and have a better handle on their workload.

Thriving Rates and On-Going Studies

According to Harvard Business Review, researchers have studied the effects of collaborative workspaces and gathered that these spaces encourage productivity. Though co-working environments encourage breaks and socialization, they also improve a workers quality of work-life. According to a survey in which workers rated how much they were thriving at their job, collaborative workers rated their environments a six-out-of-seven. There is currently on-going research happening to try to pinpoint exactly what about co-corking environments improve employee enthusiasm.

Fractal: Business Offices for Rent

At Fractal, we offer both collaborative workspaces for rent, as well as individual desks and offices. If your business could benefit from a workspace that encourages creative thought and collaborative processes, Fractal Coworking has something to offer you. Contact us today to learn more about our office plans.

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The Flagship

Our first flagship Fractal is strategically situated in the west end of beautiful Kingston, Ontario. When the time is right, we will advance into other small cities & suburbs. Contact us to learn more.

ADDRESS:

623 Fortune Crescent
 Kingston, Ontario K7P OL5

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