For many people who work in an office - or indeed, anyone who works anywhere - a decent salary is vital. After all, you go to work to earn money to pay for your living costs. However, for Millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996), the environment in which they work is also incredibly important. More so, in fact, than any of the other generations. Research has shown that a third of office workers in the Millennial age group are more concerned with where they spend their working day than the salary that they pick up and the benefits.

Throughout the years, the various generations have shown that their needs and requirements are very different. This fascinating research clearly demonstrates that the Millennial age group prioritise how comfortable they are in their place of work over the salary, much more than past generations. This is surprising as, for many years, a generous salary and benefits package was used to bring in the best staff. Obviously, Millennials want something different.

When it comes to designing and creating the ideal environment for working, 23 to 38-year-olds are the force behind it. They want fresh air and natural light in their office, standing desks, open plan working, greenery and fresh flowers. They want their mental health taken into consideration, with areas dedicated to improving their wellbeing, rather than the beige blandness of the 1990’s and early part of the ‘00s.

FreeOfficeFinder surveyed 1,500 office workers between the ages of 18 and 65. In the survey, respondents were asked to rank how they prioritise certain factors when searching for a new job. For older and younger people, the salary was the most important, whereas surprisingly the focus of Millennials was their working environment.

What do the Millennials prioritise?

• The workplace environment: 33 per cent

• What they get paid: 24 per cent

• Where they work: 23 per cent

• Ability to work flexibly: 11 per cent

• Benefits offered: 9 per cent

What do the Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Z prioritise?

• What they get paid: 28 per cent

• Where they work: 25 per cent

• Benefits offered: 19 per cent

• Ability to work flexibly: 15 per cent

• The workplace environment: 13 per cent

Nick Riesel, Managing Director of FreeOfficeFinder, commented on the results of the survey. He pointed out that while the media likes to condemn the Millennial generation for their apparent outlandish requirements and demands, there should be no judgement on wanting employers to provide them with a pleasant working environment. This is particularly interesting since it can be beneficial for the employers themselves too. Of course, there are some demands that may be a little over the top - games rooms, spaces that are deemed perfect for Instagram and gourmet kitchens, but when a quirky and fun office can be put together on a budget, all you need is a bit of imagination. 

He went onto explain that things like making sure that spaces are airy and light, close to decent transport hubs and have standing or flexible ‘hot desking’ desks, and comfortable kitchens or break rooms can be more than enough for most people to enjoy and not cost too much.