- According to new research, Generation Z want fun, social workplaces with an emphasis on wellbeing.
- These characteristics suggest that younger workers will be an excellent fit for community-focused coworking spaces.
- Gen Z could help inspire a healthier and more supportive workplace environment for everyone.
Is Generation Z really all that different from other demographics? The short answer is yes. The longer answer is “yes, but…”
There’s a ton of research on the subject and whilst it’s baffling to wade through it, it’s certainly worth paying attention to specific studies that relate to the workplace.
Why? Because the workplace is now home to five generations and with more retired people coming back to work, your space needs to be suitable not just for traditional clients but more increasingly for younger entrepreneurs and employees that are entering the workforce.
However, some of the top takeaways from a new report by workplace consultants Peldon Rose found that what Generation Z (aged 18-24) are looking for will actually benefit workspace communities, young and old, as a whole.
Gen Z want a fun, social environment – providing they have access to quiet spaces
Generation Z comprises roughly 32% of the population and is due to surpass Millennials (25-34 year olds) as the largest generation by 2020.
Peldon Rose’s research, taken from a survey of over 400 UK office workers in July 2018, found:
- 65% of Gen Z feel a fun environment is essential for a good company culture compared with only 22% of Baby Boomers (those aged 55+).
- Only 8% of Gen Z respondents think they work best from home.
- 81% think social and communal areas are important workplace facilities.
- The majority expect to be able to listen to music (60%) in the office.
The research suggests that Generation Z are social creatures who want to work in an office environment where they can interact with others, of all ages and backgrounds. In fact, 70% say it is important to them to work with colleagues of different ages and differing levels of experience.
Choice is important, and in addition to wanting to work in a “dynamic and varied workspace” they also want to be able to choose where they work in the office, such as break out areas or quiet spaces.
Furthermore, Peldon Rose found that 76% of young workers support wellbeing and mental health initiatives in the workplace, and expect these causes to be “championed”.
Wellbeing, choice and flexibility are important
So while the majority of Generation Z value a ‘fun’ workplace environment, it’s clearly not all about ping-pong tables and free beer. A positive workplace culture, wellbeing, choice and flexibility are all important factors for young workers.
For coworking spaces, this is excellent news.
It’s exactly the type of environment many community-focused operators are working to create and by all accounts, young up-and-coming entrepreneurs and employees are keen to embrace it.
But remember, it’s not all about them. This demographic also values diversity and the opportunity to work alongside other generations.
“No generation should be forgotten,” says Jitesh Patel, Chief Executive at Peldon Rose. “Offices must adapt to their [Gen Z] working styles, but not at the expense of other generations.”
In the end, some of the key traits that Gen Z look for in a workspace are conducive to a positive, welcoming environment, which benefits everyone.
The top takeaways from this research show that young workers are looking for “a well-designed office that is fun, social and helps support their mental health and wellbeing”, and spaces that achieve these goals won’t just attract one demographic, they will support and benefit all of them.