Press release: What young workers want – new study reveals the key to millennial workplace appeal

29 Jul 2022
  • New report reveals workplace flexibility is a must – 76% of those surveyed stated it was important when choosing an employer
  • The quality of the office and facilities, along with the opportunity to collaborate and interact, are more important than ever, as 78% agreed that workplace experience is key when choosing an employer
  • Social purpose and sustainability are key with 68% of those surveyed saying they would like to work for an employer who is doing something positive for the planet and 58% declaring it a ‘deal breaker’
  • 62% believe that their employers can do more to contribute towards the fight against climate change

The London Property Alliance has published its first ever London NextGen Perspective Report – a new survey charting the changing workplace attitudes and motivations of young workers in the capital.The research, which surveyed around 2,000 workers in London born between 1980 and 2000 across multiple industries, has revealed the growing importance of flexibility and hybrid working, and social and environmental purpose among younger workers.

The findings lay bare the impact of accelerating attitudes to work as a result of the pandemic, a broken housing market and generational wealth inequality. Today’s young people are the first modern generation to be financially worse off than their parents, with the repercussions contributing to shifting workplace attitudes.

Approximately 59% of respondents cited that the ability to work flexibly would impact where they choose to live. This includes more affordable locations having largely felt frozen out of the housing market.

The report, authored by Future Place Studio to help inform those investing and operating in London’s built environment post-pandemic, also shows that London holds the same appeal as before the pandemic, and that the capital is still the place they want to live and work.

The findings demonstrate the integral role offices and workplaces in London still have to play, with the best spaces becoming a deciding factor between choosing jobs and contributing to job satisfaction:

  • 78% agree that workplace quality and experience are important, demonstrating the value of investing in the working environment, both physical and cultural, including high-quality spatial design and facilitating better teamwork, social interaction and collaboration
  • Approx. 90% of young workers support a hybrid model over remote working, with the majority preferring to be in the office three days a week
  • 43% said that work/life balance is one of the biggest motivations for working at a company
  • 42% stated that working for a diverse and inclusive organisation was important to them
  • 87% felt that people with disabilities were underrepresented within their companies

More than a quarter of the respondents surveyed come from a non-white background. The findings reveal that young people will actively seek out workplaces with diverse teams that are representative of society in general. These types of equitable and inclusive workplaces are considered more welcoming and a sign of societal progress.

Alex Beale, a member of the London Property Alliance’s NextGen group involved in the research, and Strategy Manager at FTSE100 firm Landsec, welcomed the findings.

“The pandemic has been a generation defining event, creating new challenges and opportunities for everyone, including the property sector. New and existing trends, from the adoption of hybrid working, demographic shifts, to evolving life milestones, are overlapping in complex ways to shape how people work, socialise and live.”

He added: “Shaped by their experiences, the data shows that younger workers want to work for companies with a sense of purpose. This report shines an important light on the key motivations and priorities of London’s next generation of workers, providing those that are shaping the future of the built environment with inspiration to envision places that thrive.

Charles Begley, Chief Executive of London Property Alliance said:

“Being the largest generational cohort of our time, the NextGen workforce is increasingly searching for purpose and has greater bargaining power when choosing an employer.

“The reality is that the stance and actions of employers on values such as sustainability and diversity are no longer a “good-to-have” exercise of corporate responsibility, but a ‘must-have’ consideration to attract and retain talent.”

London NextGen Perspective report 2022