The values that mattered to previous generations – patriotism, loyalty, modesty – are no longer nearly as present in today’s modern workers. If you are in any management role, you have likely noticed the changing values of each generation of workers walking through your office doors.
Considering how different generational values are displayed in various settings, particularly in the office, becomes even more interesting. Hiring qualified candidates in this economy is extremely difficult. To appeal to all generations of workers, you must do everything you can.
One of the most productive and energetic generations in the workforce today is Generation Z. According to one Australian study, Generation Z currently makes up 30% of the world’s population and will comprise 27% of the workforce by 2025. This raises an important question: Who is Generation Z? What are their values? How can you configure your office, including office space and office furniture, to recruit this generation of employees?
Who is Gen Z? What Are Their Values?
Generation Z refers to people born between 1996 and 2010, currently aged between 13 and 27. They are younger workers who are just starting their careers or entering high school.
Like all generations, Gen Z has some unique values that are more meaningful to them.
First, Gen Z straddles the gap between individual and community orientation. On one hand, they are individualistic when it comes to their career. They believe their career success is up to them, and they make the primary decisions regarding their career pathways. However, they also understand the need for help, support, and resources. They are looking for assistance and support, rather than mandates.
Gen Z values diversity and inclusion. They want to see these values in the workplace, and they seek to surround themselves with diverse people and ideas. A company’s vision and staffing should reflect this commitment to diversity.
Despite the heavy use of digital devices, Gen Z still values in-person interaction. While they may like to work from home, they also seek communal spaces and opportunities to interact with others.
This is one of the first generations to truly prioritise their mental health. Wellbeing is important to them, and they want to work with companies that share that commitment. To recruit Gen Z into your workplace, you must demonstrate a shared vision for their wellbeing and values. This commitment should be reflected in hiring practices, products, services, and all aspects of company orientation, including your office space and furniture.
Surveys have identified these values in numerous brands, including Target, Netflix, and TikTok. These brands tend to have a strong digital presence but also encourage interpersonal interactions through shared experiences. This combination of digital and in-person experiences can have critical ramifications for your business.
What Does This Mean For Employers and Office Space?
If a member of Generation Z comes in for a tour or an interview, they will see your office space. This presents an opportunity to leave a positive impression. Therefore, it is important to configure your office space to appeal to Gen Z members. Studies have found numerous ways to meet these metrics and configure your office to align with Generation Z’s values.
In today’s workforce shortage, failing to appeal to a growing segment of workers risks losing access to a large and growing talent pool. There’s no question that recruiting Gen Z means offering excellent pay, showing potential employers how your work is connected to values, and ensuring they have the flexibility to raise a family and engage in other pursuits. However, other factors – including your office space configuration – can also make a major impact. Consider the following points:
Generation Z typically have siblings or roommates, which means they may lack a space to call their own. By providing dedicated seating, even if it is merely a small space in your office, you’re giving a member of Gen Z a place to call their own. Don’t assume that this generation is only interested in being digital nomads who need a place to charge their phones. Instead, show them the respect they deserve by giving them their own office or cubicle. Encourage team members to personalise their office space.
Gen Z values opportunities for personal and professional growth. They want to work for a business that will provide them with chances to advance within the organisation. Therefore, it is crucial to invest in their training and provide dedicated training spaces with classroom-like office furniture and digital tools necessary for career advancement. This space should be a prominent feature of your office, not just a corner in the breakroom.
Despite their heavy reliance on digital communication, Gen Z still values face-to-face interactions. Community spaces can provide opportunities for employees to gather and connect. These spaces should be configured with comfortable furniture and perhaps provide food and drink options, fostering a sense of wellbeing and interactivity. By creating community spaces, you can foster a sense of community among your employees, which aligns with Gen Z’s values.
Gen Z places a strong emphasis on physical and mental wellness. Many businesses have started incorporating wellness spaces in their offices to create a positive work environment for their Gen Z workers.
Wellness spaces are designed for employees to rest, recharge, and take care of their needs. These spaces should be comfortable and inviting and positioned away from external stressors. Employees should have the opportunity to take a break in these spaces and reset. They should be nicely decorated and prioritise employee comfort. Wellness spaces serve two purposes: allowing employees to take necessary breaks and demonstrating your commitment to their wellbeing. They can be crucial for recruitment, showing prospective employees that you truly value their wellness.
Modern Furniture For Generation Z
At BFX Furniture, we understand the challenges you face. That’s why we have developed a wide range of office furniture designed to appeal to all generations, including Generation Z. By creating an office space that aligns with the values and expectations of this generation, you can gain a competitive advantage in recruiting and retaining employees.