The Next Big Workplace Amenity Is Here

Millennial employees crave the opportunity to create positive social impact from work. Why aren’t they getting it?

We live in an age where workplace perks like in-house baristas, on-demand manicurists, and at-your-desk dry cleaning drop-offs are the norm.

Office managers want satisfied tenants and engaged employees, and they get there through placemaking: creating spaces that promote health, community, and well-being. In recent years, “the solution that has proven quite popular is increased placemaking via the inclusion of more amenities,” says workplace strategy expert Thomas Vecchione. Enter the sushi chef, the smoothie bar, the rock climbing wall. In other words, today’s office workers are lavished with a downright smorgasbord of perks.

But by 2025, more than 75% of the workforce will be millennials, and the specific values they hold are changing the definition of office culture. Corporate spaces address the millennial’s craving for self care with masseuses and meditation rooms, for wellness with yoga classes and indoor squash courts, for work/life balance with bring-your-dog-to-work mandates.

Gen Y and Z workers also place a premium on positive social impact, but this item is conspicuously missing from the workplace amenity buffet.

The data show that millennials do want to bridge impact and employment: 83% would be more loyal to a company that helps them contribute to social and environmental issues. They’re also willing to pay for it: 72% of millennials would spend more on goods that come from companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact.

Many companies give their workers the option of taking time off to volunteer, but this old school approach assumes that impact can only be created off-site. Corporate spaces need to fill the gap by offering on-site services that give employees and tenants the power to create meaningful social impact, right from their desk or lobby.

It’s time to think in terms of Impact-as-a-Service.

Donii is a nonprofit social enterprise: our mission is to get donated items to the people who need them most. But when we talk to employers and building managers we encourage them to apply the same filters to our donation matchmaking service as they do to other workplace offerings. Does Donii empower your stakeholders and solve a real pain point? Are we user-centric and do we promote community? Will Donii give your people more control over how they use their time to generate value?

One of our favorite company sayings is, “Everyone has stuff, so anyone can Donii!” Virtually everybody we talk to about impactful donating tells us they have a bag of clothes, a box of books, or a set of dishes they have been meaning to give away… If only they could figure out who needs it and how to get it to them. Our day-to-day work is to help individuals and families in crisis get the goods they need to survive and thrive. We do it by connecting people like office workers to people who urgently need their stuff.

When a workplace sponsors Donii, it gets an on-site kiosk that grants customized, company-wide access to the Donii app and concierge service. The app lets users find local charities — like women’s shelters and refugee programs — who need the donor’s spare items for someone they serve. The concierge service picks up donations at the office, delivers them to the nonprofits, and reports their impact via real-life recipient stories and company level engagement metrics.

Donii users are a community of rebels fighting against material need as a symptom of poverty.

We let donors choose which causes to support with their goods, giving them a level of control missing in traditional charity drives. With so many amazing and hardworking nonprofits in our city, why be limited to giving to just one? We thrive on helping people discover new charities to love. And because we’re always on-site, donors can give whenever they want, as often as they want.

Thomas Vecchione points out that ”office spaces that engage employees by creating unique experiences create value and function as a strategic business asset rather than just a workspace.” Donii gives corporate spaces the ability to empower tenants to give better, while showing their community that they care. When it comes to unique and valuable office experiences, we’re pretty sure we’re hitting the mark.