JH Berry & Gilbert, Inc

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Millennials In The Workforce – What This Means For Commercial Real Estate

December 1, 2015

picjumbo.com_HNCK7802By Callan Sherrod

The millennial generation – those born between 1981 and 2000—currently represents 38 percent of the work force. Office, industrial and multifamily sectors will all likely be impacted by the desires and demands of this fast-paced generation.

There have been several conversations surrounding the power that millennials will have on the workplace as a whole, but specifically the effects that will occur in the commercial real estate industry.

Office Impact

Millennials are multi-taskers, creative, entrepreneurial and constantly craving innovative techniques. These characteristics often come into play when individuals search for businesses for which to work. They expect organizations to have creative office spaces and exciting cultures to match. While many split their time between working at home and in the office, a space that fosters creativity and communication will have an impact on acquiring and keeping talented millennials.

Industrial Impact

The industrial market is impacted by this generation in a number of ways. Firstly, millennials are increasing their online purchasing behavior– driving demand for industrial warehouse space for e-commerce businesses. Secondly, industrial spaces are beginning to be viewed as opportunities to build a fun, atypical office space for the creative generation. Transforming an industrial space into an open-concept office is something that, with the right creativity and plan, can set a business apart from its competitors. Savvy investors have increased opportunity to find industrial properties that currently appeal or have the potential to appeal to a multi-generational workplace.

Multifamily Impact

This generation follows a different life cycle than generations of the past. Millennials often get married and have children later in life, shifting their priority of living to a more fast-paced, individually focused area. These desires have a direct effect on the design, location and vacancy rates for the multifamily sectors.

For the industry as a whole, it is important to focus on flexibility. As this new generation continues to enter the workforce, we must take a closer look at the real estate landscape and determine what type of spaces and environments will appeal to most and empower them to achieve their best work.