There is a notable trend in one key aspect of the workplace that is particularly significant to millennials, and that is the aspect of wellness.
Millennials attach a high value to health and wellbeing. According to a recent Goldman Sachs report, millennials define “healthy” as much more than simply “not sick “. What they require is a daily commitment to eating well and exercising and employers can contribute to this by creating workspace “fulcrums”. These include designing office spaces where ideas can come to life – food areas, coffee areas, green areas, and canteens.
Research suggests that there is a direct relationship between wellness measures and the bottom line as these factors can improve employee productivity by on average 10 %. Some specific low-hanging fruits that may boost wellness in the short term may include:

  • a meeting room to run lunchtime yoga sessions,
  • healthy options being offered in the canteen,
  • vending machines in the offices, and
  • subsidized gym membership.

For wellness programmes to succeed in the long run they have to be supported across the organization. Several key business entities within a company, have to work very closely together, including:

  • Facilities Management business unit,
  • Human Resources or Human Capital Development and
  • Information Technology.

What is vitally important is that these various business entities have to work together very closely and gel to make wellness a comprehensive and lasting approach.
The other notable trend is collaboration which to date has been substantially devalued. Better collaboration with customers, colleagues, and co-workers are some of the main drivers of workplace strategy.
Collaboration is tightly aligned to innovation and linked to a precious source of competitive advantages. Collaboration strives to bring employees together and at the same time combine skills and disciplines to stimulate creativity and cross-fertilization.

*Written by Johan Burger (Strategic Facilities Management Consultant and Asset Management Consultant, Director of SAFMA & Vice Chairman of SAFMA and Accredited Facilities Professional). Adapted by Lynette Howe.