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Attracting Millennials with the Sound of Silence

Source | LinkedIn : By Felicia Stingone

Millennials, whether striking out on their own as entrepreneurs or looking for employment with a company, are actively seeking out workspaces that feel reflective of their energetic, entrepreneurial spirit, hyper-fast pace, digital footprint and desire for a seamless work/life integration.

That’s where coworking comes in. Coworking spaces are designed to be more lifestyle friendly and fluid than the typical corporate environment. Think, open floor plan, soft-seating areas, modern furnishings, and of course, plenty of space and light. And then there’s the buzz factor.  Call it community, call it culture, it’s an essential part of the offering.

But does the buzz factor necessarily need to equal buzz? 

Despite the growing tendency for coworking spaces to woo millennials with all kinds of bells and whistles — beer on tap, Karaoke rooms, ping pong tables — at the end of the day, there’s work to be done. And that work often requires long stretches of quiet, uninterrupted time. Finding a space that can support that need is a non-negotiable for most modern entrepreneurs.

According to a recent study by Oxford Economics (an analysis firm out of Oxford University’s business college) of the 1,200 executives and non-senior employees, 74% reported working in an open plan office, and their number one essential when looking for an office space – uninterrupted work time. While more than half of the employees surveyed complained about noise, it was millennials who were especially likely to seek quiet, opting to move desks, office spaces, or wear noise-cancelling headphones to help solve the problem. And it’s an issue that supervisors are taking note of, with 69% reporting that they have laid out their spaces with noise reduction in mind, and 64% engineering their spaces to also limit noise from outside.

People often comment on the quiet the first time they walk into a Grind coworking space. How can such a calm and quiet space foster innovative collaboration? How does a workplace successfully blend the benefits of a vibrant, collaborative community with the need for quiet contemplation?

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