Jul
17th

Magazine Feature

Is your office ready for Generation Z?

A key contribution to attracting and retaining the right staff for a business is workplace environment. Paul Black, Chief Executive of office furniture specialists, The Alpha Group, shares his insights on the modern office environment and tells us how many businesses are reinvigorating their workspaces to attract and retain the right staff.

 

“As the modern workplace continues to evolve, thoughtfully designed work spaces that include visual stimulation and flexible configurations are proven to improve employee performance.

“Recent research from Steelcase, the world’s largest office furniture company, found that today’s workforce is turned off by companies that are slow to adapt to the changing office world. To attract top talent, it’s important to invest in the look and layout of your office as it’s a strong selling point for the next interviewee coming through your door.

“People who fall into Generation Z, those born between 1994 and 2010, currently make up 28.7% of the world’s population. Also known as ‘Gen Z’ers’, they are digital natives who have grown up with iPhones, video games and Google – and many of them have never had to sit at a desk. As Generation Z enters the workforce, offices around the world are already making changes to attract the new talent.

“One change taking place is the switch from desktop computers to mobile devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones. The emphasis on mobile technology and a strong WiFi connection means there’s less need for desks. Instead, many companies are opting for ‘work cafés’ where employees can set up their laptops at a long, shared table. Workers can move throughout the office, so they don’t have to be at the same workspace every day.

“Can your employees do work on a tablet or do they need a desktop PC? If you’re not ready to give up desks, don’t despair, many businesses are merging modern trends with traditional workspaces to make sure their office is a relevant, engaging and innovative place to work.

“The trick is balance, allowing for a mix of resident and social space where people can focus, collaborate and work effectively on a task. Since 85% of workers are concerned about their wellbeing at work, some businesses have added an in-house coffee shop with a barista or a quiet room for relaxation or massages, while others are opting for a modern work canteen with ping-pong tables. The changes are an effort to retain staff but especially attract new talent. There have been many global surveys conducted that show the ‘war on talent’ is one of the main areas of concern that ‘glocal’ businesses – global brands managed locally – are facing.

“A happy, healthy and engaged person is a more productive person, and by creating an efficient workspace, employers can significantly decrease absenteeism, increase productivity and improve employee retention.”