With office space occupied simultaneously by four generations we look at how the needs of each differ but how catering for all is entirely possible.
Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers are sharing workspace, all with differing wants and needs, and all in a post-pandemic era where the world of work has shifted exponentially from what it once was. So how to meet the needs of everyone?
Flexible office space specialists, Workthere, have surveyed UK office workers to find out what each generation most desires from its workspace aside from everyone’s ultimate goal; a harmonious and productive workplace that inspires creativity, encourages collaborative working and boosts overall employee satisfaction.
Baby Boomers – those born between 1946 and 1964
According to Workthere’s survey, Boomers are most concerned with thermal comfort in the office (25%). They seek a state of equilibrium whereby the office isn’t too hot, nor is it too cold. Their priority is physical comfort, with a preference for wearing casual clothing (27%), having comfortable furniture (24%) and good lighting (40%).
Generation X – those born between 1965 and 1980
Interestingly, the thing most valued by Gen X workers, and cited as a key driver of productivity, is the option to have multiple screens (18%) and as a Gen X with multiple screens, I’m not sure how I ever managed with just one.
Biophilia is also highly valued by this generation (again, I would have to agree) with nature and plants much sought after in the workplace (22%).
Millennials (Generation Y) – those born between 1981 and 1996
This generation are social animals with a preference for collaborative and communal spaces (26%). They also like a tidy workspace, although this is valued more by other generations.
Millennials are more likely than their generational counterparts to value a standing desk (26%), with height-adjustable desks having risen in popularity dramatically since the pandemic as we increasingly recognise the health benefits associated with using them, which include a reduction in back and neck pain and lower blood sugar levels.
Generation Z – those born between 1997 and 2010
It comes as a surprise to learn that Gen Z are the most likely to want a quiet workspace (41%), although listening to music is also a priority (31%). Like Millennials they too value a standing desk (28%) and facilities such as nap pods (23%).
Gen Z also love to socialise and value collaborative space just as much as Millennials (26%). 20% enjoy an open plan office and the opportunity to work with a wide variety of more experienced and older colleagues.
The next generation, those born after 2010, will be known as Generation Alpha. Heaven help us when they start entering the workforce!
Posted by Julie Tucker, a Gen X with apparent Boomer tendencies according to my children!