It’s a no brainer!
If there’s one well-known distinction separating Millennials from previous generations, it’s that they don’t live to work – they work to live. Priorities have shifted, so at the end of the day, it might not be the paycheck that matters most but rather the culture and a better work-life balance that keeps them loyal to a company. As more Millennials and Gen Z enter the workforce, the offices of the past are evolving into a more relaxed, open-minded, and hands-on environment that better suits the personality of newer generations. They’re driving office design trends that are bringing the workplace fully into the 21st century.
1. THEY’RE KNOCKING DOWN THE WALLS
Millennials prefer a collaborative, social environment, so the days of cubicles are over… long over. In its place has arrived the open floor plan concept. No more walls. No more dividers. No more disconnect betw
een employees. Simply a group of desks grouped together. An open floor plan encourages communication, building strong team connections and fostering camaraderie between employees. And the best part about this from a business perspective? Frequent interactions and collaborations can lead to innovative ideas and developments that benefit the company in its entirety.
2. THEY’RE DECORATING WITH PIZAZZ
Beige walls. Beige carpet. Beige desks – a.k.a. boring, boring, and boring. Modern, comfortable, eclectic – those sound better, don’t they? Yes? Then let’s kick the drab shades to the curb and breathe life into the space where people spend more than eight hours a day. Influenced by Millennials’ desire for an appealing workspace, offices are getting a makeover from floor to ceiling. It’s time for businesses to decorate with pizazz whether they’re drawing influence from the company’s values or inspiration from employees’ personalities. When your office is a medley of vibrant and engaging hues, it increases employee productiveness, so a splash of color really can make all the difference.
3. THEY’RE REPLACING THE OLD TECH WITH THE NEW
Born into the new era of technology between 1977 and ’95, Millennials are the definition of “tech savvy,” so they’re expecting a technologically up-to-date office space. Gone are the clunky desktops and miles of wires commandeering desk space, and in its place are sleek laptops and tablets. These devices can be easily transported from one side of the office to the other (Can you do that with a PC? I think not.), and all the information an employee needs is always right at their fingertips. Using the latest technology also streamlines and automates what were once time-consuming tasks, allowing employees to be more efficient and productive!
4. THEY’RE CREATING A VARIETY OF SPACES
Variety is the spice of life, and Millennials agree – especially in the workplace. Creating a variety of work spaces inspires a more engaging environment. Consider a large conference space with modern tables and chairs for important meetings. A collaborative room with a standup table and monitors for internal discussions. A small, sunlit area with large windows and a cozy couch for an employee seeking peace and quiet. When presented with numerous rooms and areas, employees can find the space that helps them be the most productive for the task at hand.
5. THEY’RE MAKING WORK FUN
The last and certainly the most important office space trend influenced by Millennials is quite simple: make the workplace fun! Remember, Millennials place a lot of emphasis on a company’s culture – will they be expected to work around the clock, or does the company believe in a work/play balance? Whether you put a pool table in the lunch room, place a ping pong table in a spare room, or hang up a hammock in a quiet room, providing engaging activities around the office will help your employees rest and reset their busy brains. After their break is over, they’ll feel mentally refreshed and ready to tackle what the rest of the day has to offer. Who says you can’t live a little at work?
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — It’s been 21 years since the first Tahoe Summit. Since then, $2 Billion in federal, state and private funds has been collected and spent on keeping Lake Tahoe blue. “We’ve completed more than 500 improvement and restorations projects,” Senator Diane Feinstein, D-California, said. “One hundred thirty-nine are underway now.” But now…
Summer is a particularly difficult time of year for our nation’s food banks. Donations always decline following the holiday season and reach a nadir during the summer months. The timing couldn’t be worse, either. Food banks also face their greatest need during the summertime. The reason? Families with children who had been receiving free or reduced-cost breakfast and/or lunch at school need to find a way to replace those meals during summer break. So they turn to their local food bank or pantry for assistance.
The National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program provide nutritional assistance to millions of low-income children every year. On a typical day, more than 21 million children participate in the National School Lunch Program, making it “the nation’s second-largest food and nutrition assistance program behind SNAP.” The School Breakfast Program serves more than 12 million children each day. These programs have been proven to reduce food insecurity, offer a number of health benefits, and improve academic performance.
The Summer Food Service Program was designed to ensure that the assistance low-income children receive at school isn’t interrupted when classes aren’t in session. Only 3.9 million children, 1 in 6, who receive free or reduced-cost meals at school, however, continue to do so during the summer months.
Feeding America’s food banks have programs designed to help close this meal gap, but the majority of food distributed during the summer comes from community food programs. Summer meal sites are sponsored by local organizations and are located typically located at schools, parks, rec centers, houses of worship, etc.
Too many children, however, are unable to access these summer meals sites. Nine million children live in communities that are “ineligible to operate” a site. Another obstacle is transportation to and from the locations. Young children with working parents can’t walk through high-traffic areas or dangerous neighborhoods alone. In rural communities, the distance may simply be too far to travel. The Hunger Free Summer For Kids Act, an amendment to the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act with bi-partisan support, would help to remove these barriers by providing children with Electronic Benefit cards and providing off-site consumption options. The bill, however, is part of Child Nutrition Reauthorization, which expired in September of 2015 and remains in limbo.
The infrastructure to help keep kids fed during the summer is there, but the success of these programs depends on us. When they aren’t operating as well as they could be, it places a greater burden on hunger relief organizations that are already stretched to their limits.
What can we do? In the short term, we need to do our part to keep the shelves at our local food banks and pantries stocked. Families who are facing hunger need help right now. Hosting a food drive is always important, but the impact is so much greater during the summer time. Move For Hunger can help you plan and a promote a food drive in your community that will support your neighbors in need.
The long term solution, however, is strengthening our federal nutrition programs. School meals, the Summer Food Service Program, and SNAP safeguard Americans from the dangers of hunger and poverty. We all need to advocate for and support these life-saving programs.
Hunger doesn’t take a vacation and neither can we. Don’t wait, take action today.
Can’t commit to a food drive this summer? A donation of $20 will cover the cost of Move For Hunger’s next food drive.
Find a list of summer meals sites in your area here.