Many don’t even think about it, but having an inter-generational workplace can sometimes have its diffulties. A company with Baby Boomers on one end of the spectrum and new college grads entering the workforce on the other has a challenge in creating an appealing office environment for both. Copying fads and trends isn’t the answer. Promote trust and integrity with a focus on achieving the company’s goals and mission.
Here are easy to follow guidelines in designing an office space where different generations can thrive.
Generational Workplace Tip #1 – Make Distinct Areas
Create spaces within offices that have clear functions. If individuals are taking breaks from their work, then respect those private areas and don’t hold impromptu work-related meetings. Instead, create conference areas using walls that are easily installed or removed.
Offices that are designed to promote collaboration should also provide break areas that are removed from workstations. Personal phone calls and conversations are less likely to create distractions.
Don’t try to create the perfect working environment, but plan functional spaces that allow work to get accomplished and areas for individuals to take breaks.
Generational Workplace Tip #2 – Work Space
Baby Boomers had parents who came from an era when executive workplaces had a lot of private offices. Southern California’s aerospace industry, automobile manufacturing, and sprawling studio lots came from that era. High tech companies transformed formal, private workspaces into more casual shared space with emphasis on collaboration. Younger workers may focus more on personal feelings and relationships.
Keep a company’s goals front and center as the unifying factor between the generations. Use modular workspaces to encourage collaboration while allowing for as much privacy as possible. Open plan benching solutions like the G Series Desk Lounge provide one way to strike a balance.
Generational Workplace Tip #3 – Personal Space
Offices have used numerous approaches to make work less stressful, and a bit more playful. Ping pong tables and foosball are some ways that companies have sought to interject an atmosphere of play into work. Installing slides that go from the second to first floors is also another idea and can seem fun to some but infantile to others.
Lounge chairs make a statement and also help with personal spaces. Some are highly individualized like the Connection Zone by KI. It signifies that someone is seeking private time to make a call or read. Furniture like the Agora Vog offers more versatility and allows for employees to be alone or meet in clusters as desired.
Some workers face tough realities in their lives outside of work. Single moms, grandparents involved with grandchildren and their own parents, and dual income families face unique stresses. Personal space at work can help them juggle the many complex responsibilities they face.
Generational Workplace Tip #4 – Uncluttered Space
Clean pathways from one area to another allow people to focus. Clutter dissipates energy. Use workstations that have plenty of personal storage space such as the Interra Cubicle and arrange filing cabinets and other storage solutions to mark work areas.
Image Source: Friant