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Four Generations in the Workspace: Creating an Agile and Legible Space

Business are about to face a unique challenge. In just a few years, workspaces are going to need to accommodate four generations of workers with vastly different workstyles. Because your office space has an impact on employee satisfaction, engagement and well-being, it is essential for organizations to create an agile workplace–one which empowers your employees to choose how, when and where they will work.

The Four Generations
Because each generation has diverse workstyles and differing perspectives, let’s take a look at the four generations:

Gen Y–this group makes up the largest group of workers. This group wants choice over location. They demand a variety of spaces to use.
Gen Xers–grew up in an era of instability caused by mass layoffs and rampant divorce—they value clarity, order, and certainty. At the same time, Gen Xers are often distracted and multitasking.
Among Gen Z, the oldest are still in high school, and they are being raised to appreciate stability, order, and predictability in their lives. Prone to distraction like their Gen X parents, they will struggle to manage interpersonal work relationships as adults.
Baby Boomers are still years away from retirement. They are generally hard-workers who believe that work is done at the office, while they use technology, they aren’t completely sold on the ability of technology to create flexibility in their work environment.

Creating an Agile and Legible Space
To accommodate all the generations in the same space, your office needs to be an agile workplace which allows employees to be in charge of where, when, and how they work. When a work environment is agile, employees will feel comfortable and in control.

However, when an agile space isn’t well-planned, it can lead to a lot of confusion for employees who are unsure about the intended use of different areas in the office. So, not only must space be agile, it must be legible as well. Legibility means that people can quickly create a mental map of the layout, it is easily navigable due to visible landmarks, and signs and graphics provide clues and to the location and intended use of the space.

While the different generations all have unique styles, when it comes to office space, they want similar things like privacy, comfort, access to technology and flexibility. Creating an agile, legible space will provide exactly what each generation needs to be productive, engaged and happy in their work environment.

If you want to create a legible office space, give Bellia a call today!

Source: Haworth

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