Think millennials are entitled? Well, we’ve got proof: A 2014 study found that while older generations adapt to their work environments, millennials (also called Gen Y) expect work environments to adapt to them. Complain about these spoiled so-and-sos all you want, but with metro Denver tallying the highest net immigration of Gen Y in the country in recent years, companies in and around the Mile High City are using more than Swinglines to ensure they seduce the best of the bunch. This month, for example, Brookfield Property Partners begins a $5 million renovation to transform the subterranean food court at 56-story Republic Plaza, Denver’s tallest building, into a millennial heaven. Here, the bait Denver businesses are setting in their millennial traps.
The Best Policy
Glass-walled conference rooms are as much about creating transparency as they are about aesthetics. In one recent study, 52 percent of millennials chose honesty as the most important quality for leaders.
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Companies relocating to new offices often shrink the size of each employee’s workspace by 25 to 30 percent. That’s because they swap cubes for shared tables. “It’s not an issue for millennials to work in tighter environments,” says Bret Hall, director of special projects at Swinerton Builders’ Arvada office, which has helped with several Gen Y–targeted remodels.
More space is going to pool, foosball, ping-pong tables, gaming systems, and gyms. Republic Plaza will boast a 7,000-square-foot, free-for-tenants fitness center with a yoga studio. “Millennials want flexibility and amenities within their workspaces so they don’t have to go someplace else to get it,” Hall says.
Take a Walk
A Swinerton client bought sit-to-stand desks for workers plus a few treadmills with built-in desktops because, according to Hall, Gen Y is more health-conscious than older generations.
From 2014 to 2015, bike commuting into downtown Denver—where 20 percent of employees are younger than 30—rose by 43 percent. Republic Plaza will offer secure storage and showers for pedalers.
Republic Plaza will respond to Gen Y’s demands for healthy food with a cafe—serving gluten-free sandwiches and fruit smoothies—that will replace Chinja (a Chinese eatery) and Chick-fil-A.