At 5 p.m, Serria Thomas got up from her desk and walked to the office kitchen. The work day was winding down at Derris & Company, a public relations firm in New York, and Serria knew she would be in the office for at least another hour. In the kitchen, Serria poured herself a glass of wine from the selections on tap then took it back to her desk to finish working.
Serria does this every day. She typically works until 6 or 6:30 p.m. and likes to relax at the end of the day. She and her coworkers are welcome to help themselves to the beer and wine on tap in the office kitchen any time after 5 p.m.
Derris & Company isn’t the only workplace that has alcohol on hand for its employees. The office keg is becoming the new water cooler. As Millennials become the majority in the workforce, workplace environments are adapting to Millennial culture. More companies are adopting a laid-back work environment. This environment includes ping pong tables, video games, and alcohol – things that never would have been in a primarily Generation X workplace.
This workplace transition is called mechanic to organic. Offices are becoming less traditional and systematic. Carla Flores, an instructor of management at Ball State University, said the transition is generational. Baby Boomers were from a more traditional style, so they just accepted whatever the boss wanted them to do and did it. Millennials bring a sense of competition to the industry and workplaces lean toward a more attractive environment to bring in employees. Generation X has worked as a bridge to tie in the gap between the older and younger generations. As Baby Boomers retire, there will be less resistance to an organic atmosphere.
Serria spends her day working, but when she gets stressed out, she has a release. She takes time to color in the provided coloring books. She sits on the sectional couch in the library. She reads books and magazines. She plays with Legos. Serria has options – that’s what makes her environment work.
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