There are 4.6 million Australians classified as Generation Z—born between 1995 and 2009. They currently make up 1 in 5 people in the workforce, but over the next decade will increase to almost a quarter of the working population.
Designing a workplace that will attract Generation Z and maximise their productivity takes more than just a technology upgrade. Unlike previous generations, they’re more likely to be attracted to companies that share their values and allow them to express their ideas and opinions. They also tend to be more focused on job security and financial stability than Millennials, despite their openness to moving from job to job throughout their career.
Attracting and retaining younger workers continues to be one of the biggest challenges facing companies in Australia. By recognising and understanding the attributes of Generation Z employees and designing a workplace to meet their needs, your company will be seen as an employer of choice now and in the future.
Like many modern employees, Generation Z are less focused on physical rewards such as large corner offices, and more focused on personal development. As a result, companies are moving away from the large executive suites that were commonplace in offices only 20 years ago. The line between work and play will become even more blurred in the decades to come, with workplaces acting as a natural fit within the life of a Generation Z employee. Rather than the traditional office environment, employees will work from anywhere on multiple devices and be more flexible in the way they deliver value to their company.
Workplace designs reminiscent of neighbourhoods, with cozy work areas that look like cafés or libraries are becoming more common. Rather than the traditional ‘closed office’ versus ‘open-plan’ way of thinking, companies that want to attract Generation Z employees will need to consider a more flexible approach that focuses on Activity Based Working, with technology-rich, engaging spaces that allow employees to work in different spaces depending on the task they need to complete.
Generation Z has never known a world without technology and relies on it in all aspects of their lives. In the workplace, they’re more likely to embrace new technology and help companies drive innovation and creativity through new platforms. On the other hand, stagnant or inefficient systems are a huge turn-off for Generation Z employees and can lead to high turnover and low productivity. Preparing your workplace now for the technology of the future is essential if you want to be seen as an employer of choice for Generation Z in the years to come.
Surprisingly, research shows that 58% of Generation Z employees prefer to communicate face-to-face. Companies that provide bright, fun and stimulating spaces where employees can connect informally during the day will be highly-valued by Generation Z employees, who will use these communal areas to share knowledge and bring new energy and approaches to traditional teams.
Generation Z employees are constantly stimulated by technology from the moment they wake up, until they hit the pillow at night. If you want to help these employees concentrate for long periods of time, it’s important to provide calm, soothing areas in your workplace where they can switch off and focus. Many companies choose to include quiet zones in their workplace design, which eliminate visual, auditory and technological distractions so employees of all ages can focus on tasks that require long periods of concentration.
Generation Z care about the planet and living a sustainable life, whether it’s at home or at work. They expect companies to reduce their carbon footprint and would rather work for a company that makes the world a better place, than secure a high salary. Creating an environmentally sustainable workplace that focuses on the health of employees and the planet is another way to attract and retain Generation Z employees, while providing a range of other workplace benefits such as reduced absenteeism and turnover.
Is your workplace designed to attract the next generation of employees? Contact us to find out how we can help you prepare for the future.