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Your Workspace

Workplace Design: Understanding the Diverse Needs of Different Generations

Workplace design

At Your Workspace, we believe that a successful workplace caters to the unique needs and aspirations of every generation, through workplace design. Recent research has shed light on the distinct priorities of Baby Boomers, Millennials, Generation X, and Generation Z. In this blog, we look at the ways you can create an inclusive and thriving environment that meets everyone’s expectations.

What Do Different Generations Want?

A recent study conducted by interior design and fit-out business, Claremont, has shed light on the diverse workplace priorities of different generations. Contrary to popular belief, it is the Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) who are most concerned about workplace technology. Generation Z (born from 1997 onwards) places a greater emphasis on social conscience and inclusion.

The research, titled ‘The Workplace Oooh,’ surveyed 1,000 UK workers and revealed that the UK office must adapt to meet the needs of Gen Z, Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers, each with their own distinct set of priorities.

Baby Boomers expressed a desire for improved technology in the office to enhance productivity. They also valued face-to-face collaboration and team spirit more than any other generation. In contrast, Generation Z, the youngest cohort in the workforce, prioritized access to an environmentally responsible workplace. A significant 20% of Gen Z respondents believed that offices would be more inviting if they focused on improving environmental practices such as recycling and offering electric vehicle charging.

However, Generation Z’s interests extend beyond collaboration and free coffee. They are more likely to visit the office for quiet, independent work. This is an inclination that may stem from living in busy shared accommodations or with parents who also work remotely. Additionally, Generation Z exhibited a strong concern for diversity and inclusion, advocating for dedicated spaces for menopause and multi-faith groups, as well as a sense of routine within the office.

Managing the Multigenerational Workforce

Becky Turner, a workplace psychologist at Claremont, commented on the findings, saying, “Managing a multigenerational workforce has become a balancing act. The role of the workplace in supporting us is crucial to achieving that balance. It’s fascinating to see this data challenge some misconceptions we have. Generation Z, often labeled as ‘snowflakes’ and wrongly perceived as indifferent to work, is actually quite well-rounded in terms of their desires and how they want the office environment to make them feel.”

The study also highlighted that UK workers across generations expect better workplace technology to instil strong social culture, collaborative teamwork, and an eco-conscious workplace. A significant majority of today’s employees (84%) seek an office experience rather than a mere space for completing tasks.

Key Findings

Additional significant learnings based on generational differences include:

Generation Z (Born 1997 onwards):

  • Their top priority is ensuring that offices support diversity and inclusion, catering to multi-faith groups and those experiencing menopause.
  • 31% of Gen Z respondents visit the office seeking a heated environment, indicating the impact of rising living costs.
  • The top three factors that would make Gen Z proud of their workplace are: exceptional technology, a fun and creatively designed environment, and a vibrant social scene.

Millennials (Born between 1981 and 1996):

  • Nearly a quarter (24%) of Millennials expect their workplace to offer social and well-being programs. This surpasses the expectations of other generations.
  • Office perks, including quality coffee and refreshments, ranked higher in importance for Millennials compared to other age groups. 20% consider it a positive aspect of their work experience.
  • Millennials seek a workplace that is fun, creative, and well-designed (33%), as well as an outdoor or green space to enhance the office environment (24%).

Generation X (Born between 1965 and 1981):

  • Teamwork is the key to engaging Generation X employees. Almost one-third (32%) reporting that it makes them feel the most positive.
  • Noise and distractions are major concerns for this generation, with nearly half (41%) considering them as office turn-offs.
  • Offering meals or access to a café is a motivating factor for Generation X. 31% believe it would make the office environment more inviting.

Baby Boomers (Born between 1946 and 1964):

  • Baby Boomers value collaboration the most, with 40% expressing a desire for face-to-face collaboration opportunities in the office.
  • Approximately 24% of Baby Boomers seek improved technology to support collaboration within the workplace.
  • The top three factors that elicit positive feelings about the workplace for Baby Boomers are: teamwork, social connections, and the ability to do their best work.

Get in Touch

At Your Workspace, we understand that each generation brings unique perspectives and expectations to the workplace. By embracing these differences and tailoring your office environment accordingly, you can create a harmonious and thriving workplace that attracts and retains top talent from every generation. Let us be your partner in designing the future of work.

To learn more about how Your Workspace can help you unlock the potential of your workforce through innovative workplace design and smart workspace solutions, get in touch with our team. We’d love to help!