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In today's GENERATIONS themed blog post, we'll be taking a highly generalised, surface look at three loose groups that make up the majority of today's working population, to better understand how to make the workplace an environment that your staff are both comfortable and well-equipped to work in.


While it's true that no two people are exactly alike, recognising the different wants and needs of different demographics is an increasingly important part of successful management. Learning how to adapt your working environment to the different generations within it is a crucial part of this process. So what generations might a manager be trying to appeal to in the modern workplace?


GENERATION X

The "Lost Generation" | Born 1965 - 1976

Sometimes you can't beat by hand | Stock up on pads and jotters


It's easy to forget that, generally speaking, the advent of the personal computer is still a relatively recent development. Around the time that many of Generation X were children, the Apollo 11 mission successfully landed men on the moon using the some of the most sophisticated technology in the world, in a lunar module housing one of the most powerful computers of the day: the Apollo Guidance Computer - which boasted a total computational power that would just about rival a modern day toaster! For an even more mind-boggling example, even a mid-level modern smartphone can operate some 120,000,000 - yes, million - times faster than the AGC could.

It's unsurprising then that many of those born into Generation X are unlikely to ever be as comfortable with the digital world as those who grew up with it, and a lifetime of doing things a certain way can make adapting to a new system or new environment less comfortable than for a younger colleague with potentially less conflicting experience.

A preference for physical items can make working by hand from a printed wall calendar or a paper notebook a more accessible option than using a computer for certain tasks, and so offering both the facility and equipment that your staff are best equipped to work with can go a long way - both in workplace satisfaction and productivity.



If it works, it works | Furniture to suit any taste


Traditional tastes often also extend to aesthetic or design decisions too. While modern twists and cutting-edge gizmos can add to efficiency or help add novelty to the work day, they're only useful to those who actually use them - sometimes making more straightforward, and often even cheaper options more appealing to your workforce if it's something they feel more in tune with.

A high-end, executive style sit-stand desk might offer a whole host of genuine benefits to the user, but if a worker with old habits simply never uses those functionalities, a good quality, regular office desk might still be a cheaper option that keeps them happier - and for no other reason than they simply like the idea of it more.


GENERATION Y

The "Millennial Generation" | Born 1977 - 1995

Only the good stuff | Enjoy guilt-free herbal teas


The term millennial is one we've probably all seen used more than we can count, and often as a slight - but millennials currently make up the largest section of the working population, and as such have a huge influence on the way that both businesses and society as a whole operate. It was during the millennial generation's formative years that what we recognise today as the internet exploded from the novelty of Tim Berners-Lee's 'World Wide Web' in 1990 into the near-universal fact of modern life today - so much so that many countries specifically legislate that internet access should be freely available to all, and the UN has even informally recognised internet access as a basic human right since 2016.

In such a connected world, millennials tend to be more aware of, and often more well-informed on hot-button issues than previous generations, thanks largely in part to the incredible availability of information the ease of passing on wisdom across the world.

In a workplace context, this applies most noticeably to matters of health and wellbeing. The culture around diet, exercise, and mental health has seen a firm increase in prominence over time, with a spotlight being shone on less obvious but no less important factors like positivity in the workplace, or the health impact of spending countless hours in unsuitable or uncomfortable workspaces.



A very comortable topic | Enter the world of Ergonomics


Interest in new tech developments or shifts in common convention can lead to dynamic new ways of working - and while not all will necessarily be successful, a millennial workforce is often more willing to try out something different like sit-stand working if it comes with clear potential benefits.

A boss who listens to their workforce and makes a genuine effort to improve their work life is still something that people will respond positively to, even if ultimately the change doesn't pan out as well as expected.


GENERATION Z

The "iGen Generation" | Born 1996 - Present

Get more for less | Save money on cleaning with bulk buys


The youngest section of our modern workforce, Generation Z, has grown up in a world that has always featured computers and the internet. With so much information only a click away, children of the digital age are generally much more sceptical than their older peers - they're more used to the torrent of conflicting information that's out there, and generally better able to separate the sales pitch from the substance.

Add in the financial pressures of mounting tuition fees and a property ladder that is increasingly harder to get a foothold on, and it's not entirely unsurprising that Generation Z shows less brand loyalty than previous generations - putting a much higher value on spending extra time shopping around for cheaper options, even if it necessitates a slight dip in quality.

Filling up the office kitchen with own-brand coffee or opting for concentrated cleaning fluid and decanting it yourself might make some of the older (or just choosier) staff a little apprehensive, but a younger workforce is usually more open to practical cost-saving measures when they can see the logic in it and the impact on their moment-to-moment workday isn't too huge.



Stand up for your health | Our favourite new way to work


A more accessible world has also led to a more diverse one - no matter how eccentric the interest, it's highly likely that a community exists around it somewhere online - and that means that the range of tastes and preferences when it comes to things like office décor, furniture, or even things like snack choices can be potentially very broad.

That might sound daunting - after all, trying to please everyone is a difficult enough task with the most like-minded of groups - but the upside is that Generation Z are generally much more open to strong stylistic choices, freeing your brand to double down on a certain look or feel to really cement a company's identity.


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Shop This Week's Blog

 

 

In today's GENERATIONS themed blog post, we'll be taking a highly generalised, surface look at three loose groups that make up the majority of today's working population, to better understand how to make the workplace an environment that your staff are both comfortable and well-equipped to work in.


While it's true that no two people are exactly alike, recognising the different wants and needs of different demographics is an increasingly important part of successful management. Learning how to adapt your working environment to the different generations within it is a crucial part of this process. So what generations might a manager be trying to appeal to in the modern workplace?


GENERATION X

The "Lost Generation" | Born 1965 - 1976

Sometimes you can't beat by hand | Stock up on pads and jotters


It's easy to forget that, generally speaking, the advent of the personal computer is still a relatively recent development. Around the time that many of Generation X were children, the Apollo 11 mission successfully landed men on the moon using the some of the most sophisticated technology in the world, in a lunar module housing one of the most powerful computers of the day: the Apollo Guidance Computer - which boasted a total computational power that would just about rival a modern day toaster! For an even more mind-boggling example, even a mid-level modern smartphone can operate some 120,000,000 - yes, million - times faster than the AGC could.

It's unsurprising then that many of those born into Generation X are unlikely to ever be as comfortable with the digital world as those who grew up with it, and a lifetime of doing things a certain way can make adapting to a new system or new environment less comfortable than for a younger colleague with potentially less conflicting experience.

A preference for physical items can make working by hand from a printed wall calendar or a paper notebook a more accessible option than using a computer for certain tasks, and so offering both the facility and equipment that your staff are best equipped to work with can go a long way - both in workplace satisfaction and productivity.



If it works, it works | Furniture to suit any taste


Traditional tastes often also extend to aesthetic or design decisions too. While modern twists and cutting-edge gizmos can add to efficiency or help add novelty to the work day, they're only useful to those who actually use them - sometimes making more straightforward, and often even cheaper options more appealing to your workforce if it's something they feel more in tune with.

A high-end, executive style sit-stand desk might offer a whole host of genuine benefits to the user, but if a worker with old habits simply never uses those functionalities, a good quality, regular office desk might still be a cheaper option that keeps them happier - and for no other reason than they simply like the idea of it more.


GENERATION Y

The "Millennial Generation" | Born 1977 - 1995

Only the good stuff | Enjoy guilt-free herbal teas


The term millennial is one we've probably all seen used more than we can count, and often as a slight - but millennials currently make up the largest section of the working population, and as such have a huge influence on the way that both businesses and society as a whole operate. It was during the millennial generation's formative years that what we recognise today as the internet exploded from the novelty of Tim Berners-Lee's 'World Wide Web' in 1990 into the near-universal fact of modern life today - so much so that many countries specifically legislate that internet access should be freely available to all, and the UN has even informally recognised internet access as a basic human right since 2016.

In such a connected world, millennials tend to be more aware of, and often more well-informed on hot-button issues than previous generations, thanks largely in part to the incredible availability of information the ease of passing on wisdom across the world.

In a workplace context, this applies most noticeably to matters of health and wellbeing. The culture around diet, exercise, and mental health has seen a firm increase in prominence over time, with a spotlight being shone on less obvious but no less important factors like positivity in the workplace, or the health impact of spending countless hours in unsuitable or uncomfortable workspaces.



A very comortable topic | Enter the world of Ergonomics


Interest in new tech developments or shifts in common convention can lead to dynamic new ways of working - and while not all will necessarily be successful, a millennial workforce is often more willing to try out something different like sit-stand working if it comes with clear potential benefits.

A boss who listens to their workforce and makes a genuine effort to improve their work life is still something that people will respond positively to, even if ultimately the change doesn't pan out as well as expected.


GENERATION Z

The "iGen Generation" | Born 1996 - Present

Get more for less | Save money on cleaning with bulk buys


The youngest section of our modern workforce, Generation Z, has grown up in a world that has always featured computers and the internet. With so much information only a click away, children of the digital age are generally much more sceptical than their older peers - they're more used to the torrent of conflicting information that's out there, and generally better able to separate the sales pitch from the substance.

Add in the financial pressures of mounting tuition fees and a property ladder that is increasingly harder to get a foothold on, and it's not entirely unsurprising that Generation Z shows less brand loyalty than previous generations - putting a much higher value on spending extra time shopping around for cheaper options, even if it necessitates a slight dip in quality.

Filling up the office kitchen with own-brand coffee or opting for concentrated cleaning fluid and decanting it yourself might make some of the older (or just choosier) staff a little apprehensive, but a younger workforce is usually more open to practical cost-saving measures when they can see the logic in it and the impact on their moment-to-moment workday isn't too huge.



Stand up for your health | Our favourite new way to work


A more accessible world has also led to a more diverse one - no matter how eccentric the interest, it's highly likely that a community exists around it somewhere online - and that means that the range of tastes and preferences when it comes to things like office décor, furniture, or even things like snack choices can be potentially very broad.

That might sound daunting - after all, trying to please everyone is a difficult enough task with the most like-minded of groups - but the upside is that Generation Z are generally much more open to strong stylistic choices, freeing your brand to double down on a certain look or feel to really cement a company's identity.

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