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How are office spaces changing to accommodate the needs of the Gen Z workforce?

Updated: Oct 6, 2020

What is next? We have had the Traditionalists, the Baby Boomers the Gen Y (Millennials), and the Generations X entrants to the workplace and now it is time for the Gen Z workforce. Throughout the years, each generation name has brought something different to the workplace. With differing preferences, needs and wants, the office space has quickly had to adapt to meet the requirements of its workforce. Essentially however, the basic needs of the individual are the same, yet the ways in which these needs are met, can be very different.

Gen Z Image

Also referred to as the ‘iGen’, the Gen-Z workforce are categorised as individuals born between the period of 1996 and 2012 who have never experienced day to day life without modern technology. It is for this reason that as increasing numbers of the Gen Z enter the workplace, speculations as to what changes will be made to support them, and how they will develop traditional workplaces are being made.

As a Millennial writing this article, I have seen first-hand the impact that the Gen Z have had on the workplace to date. From installing air purifiers and sound systems on their workstation to requesting sit-stand desking and running their calendar via a smart watch. What ever happened to scheduling a meeting alert as an Outlook popup on a normal perfectly functioning static desk? None the less, these changes are coming and need to be prepared for.

Generation Z identifier Patrycja Kalkowska, self-confessed early adopter and office furniture specialist at Seated Furniture Ltd, shared with me her insights as to what we need to prepare for in ever adjusting workplaces, along with what requests companies should expect from their employees.

‘Employers should be aware that the Gen Z workforce are becoming increasingly mindful about wellbeing within the workplace and the results that an ergonomic environment has upon their productivity.’ She went on to say, ‘Daily, at Seated Furniture we are receiving enquiries for 10, 20 and even 30 sit stand desks and batches of ergonomic chairs, traditionally reserved for those in senior management positions. It is evident that employers are matching the requests of this new generation, with a view to creating a positive, employee centred approach to business, in turn benefiting the organisation as a whole overtime.’

When asked what she thinks will come next, Patrycja laughed ‘Well, I am already using interactive whiteboards that once ideas are shared upon it within a meeting, I am then able to email the content to everyone via a simple click of a button. Increasingly I am working with people on a virtual basis and the need for face to face meetings are reducing. Whilst I miss the interaction that comes with face to face contact, I am able to be more productive whilst in the office and not spending time commuting.’

(Image Source)

So how is the workplace and it's technology changing?

  • Demand for ergonomic furniture is increasing

With wellbeing in the workplace being at the forefront of many commercial agendas, companies are choosing to invest in quality office furniture that supports the user in their day to day tasks. Gone are the days of buying cheap office furniture that is not suitable for prolonged use. Research has shown that working in an ergonomic office space encourages productivity and reduces absenteeism.

Buy office furniture direct from Seated Furniture Online today or alternatively contact a member of our sales team for advice and support.

  • Confined collaborative spaces such as meeting booths and pods are being requested for use within open plan offices and breakout areas

For many years we noticed our customers were choosing office furniture suitable for open plan spaces. Our sales in cluster desking solutions and project and office fit out work all reflected this trend of open plan working spaces and a collaborative approach to the office environment. However, with that trend has come the desire for organisations to create secluded areas within open plan spaces, where working teams can huddle and share information.

At Seated Furniture, we have been at the forefront of this trend providing our clients with a range of office pod and meeting booth solutions. From individual work pods to meeting hubs and breakout booth seating, we are able to provide rooms within open collaborative spaces that can be fully personalised to suit the users requirements.

To find out more about the modern office pods and quiet booths we have available contact a member of our friendly sales team today to discuss your requirements further.

  • Interactive wall-mounted whiteboards are being used in place of traditional drywipe boards

Whiteboards were a natural progression from the traditional messy chalk board and now comes the latest development within this market. Whilst colourful glass boards are a trendy alternative within the workplace, they still only provide the same functionality.

Now, organisations are opting for smartboards which are interactive and allow information to be displayed, stored and shared with ease. Perfect for use within meetings, in office spaces and communal environments, workplaces are becoming more efficient as a result of developments in technology.

Contact us to find out more information about the capabilities of our interactive smartboards or to book a demonstration today.

  • Workplaces have personality and reflect an organisations core principles and corporate identity

At Seated Furniture, we are experts in working with our clients to design office fit out solutions that reflect the overall ethos of an organisations and their corporate and branding strategies. With a team of bespoke designers, we can personalise workspaces to meet the end user requirements and those of the Gen Z.

The Gen Z individual favours a workplace that values employee wellbeing as does any other employee. So, whilst the basic needs of employees are the same, the ways in which these needs are fulfilled are viewed very differently throughout the generations. Employers are becoming increasingly aware of this and are adapting traditional methods in favour of a more modernist approach to its increasing conscious workforce.

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