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Workspace Needs A Place To Chill, Millennials Say

What is one thing millennials want in an office that their parents probably never thought of? A place to relax.

Chill space

That is the conclusion of a survey conducted by U.K. office interior specialist Dale Office Interiors, which found that over a third of 18- to 34-year-olds would favor prospective employers offering "chill-out zones."

There is no exact definition of a chill-out zone, but presumably most people know it when they experience it. Previous generations understood the concept, but few thought of the workplace as a place for chilling out. Home, certainly. A bar, maybe, for those in a certain mood. But not the office.

That thinking is old hat.

"People want to enjoy working, playing, essentially they want to enjoy life!" Allford Hall Monaghan Morris founding partner Simon Allford told The Architects' Journal. "Buildings need to enable this by offering a range of different working and relaxing spaces on the micro scale of the office and on the macro scale of the building."

Overall, what millennials want is of high interest to employers. In the U.S., Google searches for "how do millennials want to work and live?" increased from zero in 2015 to 15,900 in 2016 and 13,400 in 2017, according to Fresh Business Thinking

The Dale Office Interiors survey found that about 20% of young people have rejected a potential employer due to outdated or uninspiring office design.

Opportunities for activities are also important, according to the survey, with access to exercise and recreational facilities ranked highest by a total of 30% of the respondents (16.3% and 14.2%, respectively).

Moreover, the evolution of office space into an amenity-rich open plan, possibly with chill-out space, has moved out of the tech realm. Most kinds of tenants want at least some of the latest creative office features.

"Work and play are increasingly intersecting, and not just in tech," TMT Development President and CEO Vanessa Sturgeon told Bisnow.