With baby boomers now retiring, millennials will soon make up 50% of the workforce by the end of the decade. Their younger counterparts, “Gen Z”, although a different generation, share many similar attitudes towards the workplace that before long will reshape the world of work.
The next generation enters the workplace with their own set of qualities and expectations. Millennials and Gen Z have grown up with perpetual advances in technology, in tandem with social changes in views towards work. They expect workplaces to keep up with the pace of change and are prepared to move, and move quickly, for a better workplace experience.
As competition for talent heats up, it is imperative companies build a modern workplace to attract millennial’s and Gen Z.
Here are three principles to follow:
Millennials and Gen Z are naturals when it comes to this department, since most of them have grown up with mobile phones and computers. These tech-savvy workers are used to the fast pace of change in the tech world and therefore won’t put up with outdated systems.
In today’s digital age, providing effective workplace technologies that attract and engage workers, but also reduce operating costs should be a no brainer! Equipping workers with the right tools will provide them with a sense of community and control, allowing them to book spaces, access their building, and join events all at their fingertips. By tech proofing your workplace through smart building and mobile app technology employers will empower the next generation and make them feel at ease and connected to their environment.
Ultimately, technology provides employees with flexibility and choice, something millenials and Gen Z value highly. Employers that understand this and invest in creating a frictionless digital experience for their workers will not only satisfy existing employees but attract the future workforce.
Rethink workplace design.
Physical spaces have a powerful effect on an employees experience at work. Offices that are flexible and offer valuable amenities and services will stand out. A straightforward commute, seamless integration of different tech (both hardware and software), a mixture of work environments and of course dog friendly spaces will all do well to reduce stress and make employees lives easier and more productive. When this is married with the fact that replacing a single employee can cost as much as £30,000, there is little doubt that investing in these measures is often a much more cost-effective solution.
Both millenials and Gen Z share a taste for unique and unconventional design. They particularly appreciate biophilic design and natural light. Large windows, indoor plants and vertical wall gardens are a great way of bringing a touch of nature into the workplace. Studies have shown that these workplace design touches boost employee well-being, creativity and air quality significantly.
Equally as important today is whether a physical space operates ethically and sustainably. Today, millennials and Gen Z are acutely aware of the state of the planet, so an office that supports and displays its efforts on this front will resonate with the next generation.
Adopt positive culture.
It’s not just about an engaging physical space (and a great salary). Adopting a culture of positivity, purpose and wellness is also of paramount importance. Encouraging social connections and positivity is a great start. Communal social spaces, breakout areas and a regular schedule of events will help foster relationships that will mould a vibrant and inclusive company culture.
The future workforce crave meaning in their day to day lives; without this, workers will go searching for their next job sooner rather than later. Jobs that are aligned with life values will motivate the next generation to bring their A-game to work. Millennials and Gen Z are less concerned when it comes to brand loyalty, so it is important for companies to be wary of what values they stand for and what culture this creates, in order to encourage tenure longevity.
A company’s greatest asset is its people, so it is self-evident that unhealthy workers won’t be as productive as employers would like. Taking a holistic approach to the workforce where workers are provided with a range of resources and opportunities, such as wellness programs, healthcare and flexible work schedules will humanise the workplace in a way that the next generation love and respect, but also provide the productivity results employers are looking for.
The importance of technology, a comfortable physical space and a vibrant company culture cannot be underestimated. When combined, these measures have the power to create a workplace where workers feel happy, energised and inspired. Work is no longer just simply fulfilling the jobs themselves, it’s the whole experience from the moment an employee starts to the moment the employee leaves.
Over the next decade, millennials and Gen Z will become the most dominant workers in the workplace. They are motivated by a different set of needs and don’t feel remotely attached to traditional models of work that have been in place for decades. Employers must adapt, as must their workspaces.
Those who are able to evolve will not only attract the next generation but create a working environment that leads to healthier and happier workers, which in turn is great for business. Millennials and Gen Z are here to stay so what are you waiting for, implement these changes and you’ll reap the benefits.