How Will Gen Z Change Your Office? And Are You Ready?
They donΓÇÖt remember a time before touchscreens, mobile phones and social media. They think email is old school. Brace yourself. Gen Z is heading to an office near you.
As the cohort already dubbed the ΓÇ£Limitless GenerationΓÇ¥ joins the workplace, how will the office need to adapt to accommodate their expectations and working style?
Gen Z are the constantly connected generation. From access to social media to constant texting, they need to be connected at all times, in many different ways. Speed is of the essence for these digital natives ΓÇô and high-speed internet is essential to enable them to communicate and work at the speeds they require.
Be prepared: It could be time to upgrade your IT infrastructure: nothing frustrates Gen Z more than a slow internet connection and outdated software.
Think instant conversations
According to Gen Z, email is the new snail mail. They prefer realtime conversations across multiple platforms, including social media.
Be prepared: Get ahead of the game by researching the alternatives to email for both internal and external communications ΓÇô including the demands it would place on your existing IT infrastructure. A number of big companies, including Atos, have already implemented a zero email policy with great success.
Gen Z is well versed in the flexible working opportunities presented by todayΓÇÖs technology ΓÇô and they expect to be able to take advantage. From remote working options to flexi-time, Gen Z are looking to ditch the 9 to 5 in favour of anytime, anywhere working. TheyΓÇÖre looking for agile workspaces ΓÇô powered by technology ΓÇô which can adapt to their day-to-day needs.
Thanks to their constantly connected status, theyΓÇÖre comfortable with remote collaboration.
Be prepared: Flexible working can have a motivational impact for workers of all generations, as well as offering big savings on desk space for employers. To help workers get the most out of their remote working days, you could consider creating drop-in hubs or issuing hot desking passes which will allow them to access a business environment closer to home.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
As people who are constantly connected to their devices, itΓÇÖs no surprise that Gen Z want to bring them into the workplace. Access to smartphones means constant contact with their social networks, which can be a valuable source of business contacts and industry knowledge.
After all, this is the era of the Profersonal ΓÇô young professionals who are comfortable blending the personal and professional in their social networks.
BYOD also allows Gen Zers to avoid the frustrations of outdated company tech (they absolutely must have the latest devices and operating systems to work efficiently).
Be prepared: ItΓÇÖs one thing to allow employees to bring their own devices into the office, itΓÇÖs another making sure that itΓÇÖs managed in a responsible and secure way. Forward-thinking companies will be planning strategies for ensuring that data and networks remain secure, while allowing the company to reap the benefits of bringing devices into the workplace.
The Limitless Office?
The office is becoming more fluid ΓÇô from the way that information and knowledge is accessed and shared, to workforce hierarchy and physical space. The Limitless Generation will not only embrace this way of working ΓÇô but push it even further.
Some companies may already be well on their way to preparing their offices for the arrival of Gen Z. After all, their tech fluency means that most employers canΓÇÖt afford to miss out on the new generationΓÇÖs skills. Time to put together a plan for adapting.
Is there anything weΓÇÖve missed? How else will Gen Z change the office? Share your ideas in the comments.