Freedom and Flexibility for the Workforce, Profitability and Sustainability for the Workplace

The Next Generation Will Soon Be At Work

Gen Z is just five years from entering the workplace. Here’s what managers and designers need to know about this emerging workforce.

April 4, 2016

RICHMOND, VA, April 4, 2016 /Richmond, VA/ -- Managers and workplace designers think they have their hands full trying to create policies and work environments that take into account the needs of Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials. Just wait until GenZ starts to enter the workforce—everything will change again.

Who comprises Gen Z, and how does this next generation differ from its predecessors? Kay Sargent, director of workplace strategies at LendLease, addressed the subject recently in a webinar hosted by AgilQuest, a Richmond, VA-based, leading provider of software solutions for managing workplace resources. Sargent outlined the challenges that lie just around the corner for management.

The Gen Z members, as defined by Sargent, are the offspring of the GenX. Currently, the oldest of the generation are teenagers but, as Sargent noted, “the next generation is on the doorstep and we need to start planning for them. If you are designing workspace today, you need to be concerned about GenZ. They’re just five years out from the workplace.”

Not only does GenZ have characteristics that managers and workspace designers will need to take into consideration, but their numbers are jolting: some 2.5 billion strong, compared to the 1.4 billion of GenX and 1.7 billion Millennials. In a couple of decades, Sargent said, they will be the dominant generation in the workforce.

In office design in particular, she said, these young people won’t be productive if forced to perform repetitive tasks, especially in a complex work environment with limited opportunities for employees to work in solitude, Sargent said. 

“We have to have areas where people can put their heads down and concentrate,” she said. “We've paid way too much attention to collaboration at work. Even those who see themselves as high in collaboration need at least 50% of the time for being alone and focusing on a task. We need more private spaces. The offices of today were designed when everyone did the same task all day. Now that's all changed. Our workspaces must reflect that.”

A recording of the presentation as well as a full schedule of upcoming AgilQuest webinars is available at AgilQuest.com/webinars.

About AgilQuest
AgilQuest connects your people with their best choices for where to work today and helps your organization manage, control and measure the use of those desks, meeting rooms, co-working sites, and other sources of office space. AgilQuest's technology improves employee engagement and productivity while attracting and retaining today's top talent.