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Next-gen workplace: comfort means more than an ergonomic chair

Kasha Botha, interior designer at Tétris and a member of the millennial workforce, talks about what it takes to create a successful work environment for her generation.

Perhaps the most important element in the modern workplace today is the human experience. It’s about feeling part of a community and a strong company culture. Millennials have a good work ethic, we expect a competitive environment and are not afraid to put in the hours. But this doesn’t necessarily mean we want to clock into our desks every day.

We appreciate a variety of workspaces where we can be relied on (trust is essential) to get the job done, and that work zone may not be in the office – it could be in the coffee shop on the corner. While we like inspirational design in the office, its more about the licence to feel comfortable in our own skin. Millennials like to move around, depending on our mood for the day. No micro-managing allowed! We welcome the opportunity to sit next to different people every day and learning new things from a variety of sources as much as we value quiet spaces to concentrate or reflect. This freedom of movement and thought is respected by providing a range of spaces, from hot desking to private booths, stand-up desks or outdoor collaboration areas.

We’re part of the always-on generation and we expect to have access to sophisticated tech in our places of work. However, because technology changes so quickly, it’s far more important to design for people. It’s why the resimercial trend is so big right now. We millennials are great multi-taskers – which means we know how to relax and be productive at the same time! It’s why it makes sense to bring features from home into the corporate environment. It’s quite common to find me responding to emails sipping a cappuccino on the couch in our office. Open, fluid spaces that allow human interaction with plants and light (like you would find at home) make for happy, productive spaces. The power of modern workplace design is to humanise the office.

We want to feel connected to our co-workers. For us, work is not just work, it’s a place to belong. We like a social workplace with tangible camaraderie and teamwork. We also have a strong sense of corporate social responsibility so a volunteer project or entering a corporate race that supports a good cause it right up our alley!

It’s about creating a welcoming work environment where people can be themselves. Millennials are attracted by an open, supportive, flexible culture that offers opportunities to learn and grow. It’s not so much about the salary – we take it as a given that we will earn what we are worth. What we do like is regular, useful performance feedback (being accessible builds that all-important trust). Tell us when we are doing well, give us clear direction and we will go the extra mile.

About Tétris
Tétris is the wholly-owned full service design, fit-out and refurbishment specialist of JLL. As a fully integrated JLL business, it is one of the only global interiors firms in South Africa. This network with an international real estate company offers credibility when pitching for blue chip business and supports a comprehensive service solution, far broader than an average fit-out contract. Based in Johannesburg, the South African Tétris team provides turnkey services to office, retail, industrial and hotel occupiers. The range of solutions covers all phases of a project: workplace strategy, conceptual and technical interior design, project management, procurement, and construction.

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