A good question, but first let’s just recap what on earth generation Z means. Born in 1995 and onwards, generation Z is the first group of individuals who have grown up in a truly digital world. This has equipped them with the knowledge to become far more advanced with using the internet, media and technology, than those generations that came before them. They have a high level of what is called digital intelligence and they are renowned for self-education through the use of tools like YouTube and Google and soon, they’ll be flooding the world of work.
That means the businesses looking to attract this new talent, need to have a workspace that appeals to these individuals. So, without further ado, here are some of the key character traits of generation Z that you can use to ensure your workspace becomes one of the places this new talent pool wants to work.
A big proportion of generation Z have proven themselves to be concerned with looking after the world around them. They’re generally eco-conscious and worried about the impact humans are having on the planet. That means these individuals are looking for companies that demonstrate the same concerns.
This doesn’t necessarily mean investing in a completely eco-friendly office building, or even splurging on biophilic design (although if you have the budget neither option would hurt!), it can be a simple as ensuring your workspace has recycling facilities and an ethos of looking after the planet and avoiding waste. Think about going paperless, using energy saving light bulbs and working with other eco-conscious industry partners and suppliers.
A mix of serious and social spaces
According to a relatively recent survey by Peldon Rose and reported by Personnel Today
; generation Z are just as likely to describe themselves as the “quiet and head down” type as they were the “outgoing and social” type (46% in both cases). That means this workforce needs a varied working environment in order to appeal to their personalities and nurture their mental health and wellbeing (another key factor for Generation Z when choosing an employer).
Putting this in to practice means considering things like introducing breakout areas into your workspace. These can be social spaces with bench style seating or perhaps a team building focal point like a table tennis table or dart board. On the other hand, it could be a quiet reading nook and a selection of comfy seats. When it comes to arranging desks, consider a mix of seating arrangements, again big shared desk spaces can work well for social and collaborative work but don’t neglect standalone desks for when people want to work quietly.
Our recommendation is to mix open plan working with a few smaller, enclosed spaces and meeting rooms to help give not just this new workforce, but your existing workforce as well, that sense of flexibility, freedom and choice of how they work and where.
A big focus on technology
As we mentioned in our introduction, generation Z are the first generation to grow up in an advanced digital world and as a result, they are looking for tech savvy, forward thinking and innovative employers. You might think simply having an office flat screen and a few tablets is enough these days, but think again. These new workers are interested in things like social media, virtual reality and wearable tech. In other words, it’s all about creating a flexible workspace that’s highly adaptive and uses technology to bring teams together, to share ideas and to work collaboratively.
Is your workspace ready for the takeover of generation Z?