The Millennial (born 1980-1995) and Gen Z (born 1996-2006) generations have brought new life to central business districts and began their careers working in urban-creative office spaces of their own influence. These spaces were often inside remolded, historic brick buildings with high ceilings, concrete floors, glass walls and coworking environments.
However, Millennials and Gen Z are now reaching the age where they are starting to have children and dogs- who want yards and fences- which is drawing these two large blocks of people out of the urban core and into the suburbs.
This workforce is therefore looking for employment opportunities around where they live, where their kids go to daycare and where they can get home to let Fido out at lunch. But they do not want the traditional suburban office build-out. They want the “cool factor” they found in the urban core to follow them, too.
Much of the available suburban office spaces have not been updated since their parents worked in them and these young, hip workers are shunning the existing office and work environments and demanding modernization. That said, the most successful business owners and investors will be the ones that “Millenialize” their work environments, by bringing the urban cool vibe to their suburban office spaces.
Business owners and investors looking to hire or lease to today’s decision makers and talent pool, should get ahead of the suburban migration trend, look up the word “Millenialize” and see the photo below for an example of the edgy, cool-factor that these workers are looking for in their suburban offices:
In this example, walls and partitions have been removed in favor of a more open and collaborative office environment. Gone are the days of numerous large conference rooms which have now been replaced with more informal, huddle spaces or smaller quiet spaces for collaboration and ideation. This workforce seeks out spaces that are communal, green and accessible via public transportation.
Therefore, staying ahead of this “suburban renaissance” by creating modern spec suites, white-boxed spaces and upgraded, on-trend common areas will be key to staying commercially competitive in the race for acquiring and retaining tenants and talent alike.