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14 workplace designs for the new generation

Generation Z, born between 1995 and 2005, so aged 13 to 23, are at school, university, or working in their first jobs, and while some of the older members may already be in the workplace, the millions that will join them in the coming years have a new set of expectations.

Much like their predecessors the millennials, these Born Frees have increased insight into the advancements in technology, and they also have their own ideas about the workplace, says Jenny Helyar, partner at Johannesburg-based Paragon Interiors.

With them entering the workplace comes an open-minded, responsible, and compassionate approach. They have a strong entrepreneurial spirit and want to make a meaningful difference in the world, according to Paragon Interiors team’s eBook The Talent of Tomorrow: How your company can prepare for Gen Z.

Dean Monnin, senior vice president of JLL says Generation Z demands an effusive environment that can cater to their needs and help maintain their overall well-being – physically, mentally and emotionally.

“If their future employers can’t provide them with dynamic workspaces, they’ll continue their job search.”

Here are the 14 designs to include in a workspace for Generation Z

 1 A shared work table: Offer different spaces for these employees to work in. This will stimulate and encourage them to share these ideas whilst valuing interaction with peers and experienced colleagues. A shared work table will harness this interaction, says Paragon Interiors team.

Picture: Pixabay

 2 Unassigned seating: This will encourage a cross-pollination of ideas. “With access to power, high-speed Wi-Fi, laptops, smartphones and tablets, this generation will be able to work from anywhere. In most offices today, employees only occupy their desks for part of the day,” says Paragon Interiors team.

3 A coffee stop: “A great place to dine and unwind will be an important drawcard with good coffee and table layouts that encourage interaction of large groups.”

4 Lockers: For personal items

5 Technology walls: This is for connecting  to other teams across the world

6 Access to natural light: “Their biggest desire is for a friendly, fun environment, with colleagues that respect them, and they would love an office that is modern, trendy, uncluttered, yet creative in style. Access to natural light is essential as this group values the environment and those who look after it,” says says Paragon Interiors team.

Picture: Pexels

7 Soft seating as an alternative work space: “Soft seating, bar height seating, and long dining tables add variety, and the finishes should be less formal and inspiring.”

8 A place to reflect and innovate away from the crowd;

9 Sharing ideas on white-boards and with sticky notes;

Sharing ideas with sticky notes will be valued by generation Z employees. Picture: Pexels

10 A quiet space to focus.

11 A closed space: For private phone calls that don’t disrupt others

12 Standing-height workstations: To promote movement for this health-conscious generation.

13 Health and wellness amenities: These “are a must”, says JLL’s senior vice president of workplace strategy Amanda Kross, who says the entrepreneurial mindset of Generation Z has resulted in high expectations on how employers will treat them.

Picture: Pexels

14 Workspaces that build communities and collaborations: “It is “crucial that corporates observe trends and studies that do this,” says Kross.


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