Never before has the workforce been as diverse as it is today. With multiple generations from all over the globe now working together, it can be difficult for office managers to effectively bring these different mind-sets and working styles together in one work environment.
The good news is that despite the generational differences which may be present in the workplace, you can create an office space which suits the diverse needs of your employees. Below are some ideas you can incorporate into your office fit out so that your staff remains happy and productive.
Keep It “Age Neutral”
Modern and unique designs and fixtures may inspire and encourage creativity for your younger staff, but for the older individuals in your office space, it may be confusing, annoying, or distracting. Your more mature staff is accustomed to having an office space which is more formal and has a corporate feel. While some funky and vivid elements can be used, try to keep these items to a minimum.
Provide Your Employees with Personal Space
Younger generations have an appreciation for louder and more expressive décor. While you may not be able to include such elements throughout the entire workplace, providing each employee with his or her own personal space allows them to still include these elements while not distracting or bothering other workers.
Incorporate More Open Multi-Purpose Areas
Open office plans and layouts are on trend, and for a good reason: they encourage collaboration, innovation, and employee engagement. By having more open and accessible areas for all staff, you significantly increase the chances of them mixing and mingling with one another.
With that said, there will always be a place for private office spaces. Regardless of the generation to which an employee belongs, there will be employees of all ages who will prefer to work on their own and in a quieter space. These employees can still collaborate with others in these open and multi-functional spaces when they have ideas to share.
Create a Central Hub
Apart from having multi-purpose areas throughout the office, it is also a good idea to create a space which you know will serve as a central hub. For example, many offices are being outfitted with coffee bars near major exits and entrances so that employees will be “forced” to interact with one another on a regular basis.
Build a Sense of Community
Millennials in particular like it when there is a sense of community in the workplace and appreciate having a connection with where and whom they work with. Office managers can encourage employees to bond together as a community by providing spaces for individuals to showcase workplace appropriateinterests. This can be as basic as having a cork board where employees can tack up posters and notes, or it can be as extensive as providing a square footage mini library for book sharing or for practising yoga.
Building an effective workspace for Baby Boomers through to Gen Ys is possible, though it does take an in-depth understanding of what each separate generation needs and how they will best thrive in the workplace. If you require a fit out try Saracen Interiors and see what they have in store for your multi-generational office space.