If you build it they will come…

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If you want to attract the crème de la crème of this year’s campus elite, you’ll need to rethink your office environment – at least that’s what a recent Universum study is suggesting.

The study analyzed information garnered from 200,000 students across 12 different countries and found that the days of sitting from 9-5 in a stuffy cubicle were as good as dead. Now, the highest achieving graduates are looking for flexible employers and dynamic workplaces – just like Google and Facebook.

Voted as this year’s “Best Company to Work For” by Fortune Magazine, Google is at the forefront of providing dynamic workplaces. Employees are provided with high-quality meals and have access to a range of useful on-site facilities like a hair salon, launderette and gym.

The company also promotes “symbiotic seating arrangements”, or open-plan, concept work areas where employees are free to converse and collaborate. The dynamic nature of Google’s workspace allows both creativity and productivity to thrive.

Although off-beat and eccentric offices made their name in Silicon Valley, companies that were quick off the mark to adopt similar practices are now feeling the benefits. The Universum study found that Canadian, British and American engineers identified dynamic workplaces as the single most important of 40 employer attributes. Business students were also particularly keen, ranking creative and dynamic environments in fourth place.

In every other profession, dynamic workplaces were listed in the top 10 most desired attributes - the only exception was Russia where creativity and dynamism was significantly lower on their list of priorities.

The Universum study calls for corporations to “step-up” and provide work environments that “facilitate the exchange of ideas and rapid decision-making.” By doing so, companies can burnish their reputation and create a competitive edge. 

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