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Older, younger worker © Shutterstock
What is physically needed to make a workplace fit for all five generations? © Shutterstock

16 July 2019 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal 

What is physically needed to make a workplace fit for all five generations? Is it an issue of accessibility, flexibility or having interchangeable or integrated solutions? And what are you currently doing to meet this challenge?


Different traits distinguish one generation from another. For instance, Generation Y or Millennials (born 1979 to 1999) are choosing to consume less dairy than their parents and grandparents, and more ‘mylk’ alternatives like almond, oat and soya milk. In the office this generation puts a premium on well-being at work but also has an eye on greater corporate social responsibility.

Generation Z (born 2000 onwards) are technology-savvy and are already starting to enter the workforce and they want stability, career advancements, benefits and ample compensation. Older workers known as the traditionalists (born before 1945) place importance on a strong work ethic and respect authority. Baby Boomers (born 1948 to 1963) have a rebellious streak and value equal opportunities and Generation X (born 1964 to 1978) value freedom and responsibility in the workplace. All five of these generations are occupying a single office - and this will become more widespread in the future.

Older workers will make up a large part of the workforce and are likely to have particular needs because of factors such as increased life expectancy. Added to this are the phasing out of UK’s default retirement age and the raising of the state pension age in coming years – meaning that many people will either need or want to keep working. While younger workers may demand more flexibility including breakout areas to work or sit stand desks. 

We want to know how this is affecting your planning for the management of the workplaces in which these multiple generations. What steps you are taking to integrate the needs of five generations in your organisation?

Please click here to  enter the survey.