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Alexa, why are we still talking about workplaces to attract millennials?

Posted on Thu, 2018-02-08 10:24 by Martin Dempsey

I’ve read plenty of scholarly articles and research about the impact of millennials in the workplace.  In fact, people were still writing about how millennials would want a different type of workplace when those millennials were already stepping up to leadership roles throughout the world.  To put it in context, Emmanuel Macron, the President of France is a millennial.

Generation Z are joining the workforce and in a world where retirement ages are getting older, we’ve got several generations working together.  The argument can be made that each generation has different needs and different attitudes to their environment.  However, I could just as easily argue that individuals within a generation can show as much divergence in opinion as individuals between generations.

Creating a single solution to the individual needs of a complex and diverse group of people is impossible.  It’s why at any given time, 100 articles are being published bemoaning the failures of open-plan offices and 101 articles are being published claiming their success.

The goal in workplace consultancy and design is to understand what individuals need as well as what the collective needs.  When you get it right, science informs art, and you find ways of creating flexibility, blending informality with structured space, and stretching people’s thinking and approach to work rather than inhibiting through their working environment.

Generation Z are on their way.  A generation that can’t imagine a world without broadband, a time before iPhones, friendships without Facebook.  We can either stick our heads in the sand and pretend that the world was better when there were only 4 channels (or 5, 3 or 2 depending on your age!) or we can start preparing for the next generation to enter the workplace.

What this will mean is preparing for a new era of technology that has become native to them – and preparing a generation of millennials for the reality that they’re the bosses now, the grizzled veterans who need to accept workplace change and move with the times.

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