Managing 3 Different Generations in One Workplace
In today’s workplace, we need to provide office space for many employees spanning from multiple generations. There are five generations working side by side:
- Traditionalist – Born between 1990-1945
- Boomers– Born between 1946 -1964
- Gen X– Born between 1965 – 1976
- Millennial – Born between 1977- 1997
- Gen 2020 – Born after 1997
All generations have different characteristics based on various cultural and environmental differences. These differences provide the workplace which a much-needed diversity in thinking, but also in work ethic.
Currently, Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials are the most common generations that you will find in the workplace.
So, let’s discuss some office design ideas and easy fixes that you can incorporate to achieve greater productivity and help keep everyone happy.
1. Baby Boomers
Baby Boomers are the oldest typically in the workplace. They heard from their parents, the Traditionalist about economic hardship, war, and right versus wrong ethics. Therefore, Baby Boomers have a strong work ethic and desire to achieve and are often called workaholics. They thrive on security and personal interaction but don’t like to hold a meeting simply for the sake of having a meeting. Moreover, they do not like distractions or disconnection. They prefer quiet offices and face-to-face time, so private or collaborative office spaces will suit them well.
2. Generation X
Generation X or Gen Xers are also hard workers like Boomers and have spent most of their careers focused on one industry. They work diligently to move up the corporate ladder.
They remember what it was like before the Internet, so some offline work and unplugged meetings are appreciated. However, they enjoy innovative technology and gadgets, such as integrated hardware, hidden wiring, adjustable height desks, and spaces that contribute to their productivity. They like comfortable furniture so they can be effective leaders and move quickly up the corporate ladder. Since they observed an increase in a recycling focus, they appreciate recycled furniture and materials and bringing the outside in with office greenery.
Millennials or Generation Y value a new modern office (i.e. water features, living walls, solar panels, natural light and green tech and paperless offices). They want their company to benefit the individual but also and equally important the greater good.
Since this generation has been raised solely in a world of technology, learning new tech and being flexible is no problem for them. They enjoy working virtually or in a common area such as a Starbucks lounge. Therefore, they embody the open office and excel at common worktables, bright and bold offices, and modern conference rooms.
While it may be impossible to put a smile on everyone’s face at work, you can provide each generation with some of the key elements mentioned above depending on your budget to increase employee satisfaction and productivity.