CBS Office Interior’s MD Phil Green knows a thing or two about the need to create a functioning workplace, having run his company for over 30 years. He’s observed that employers are seeing real benefits when they ensure that everyone has a great environment to work in. The environment needs to be tailored to the whole workforce so they can all be productive, do their job and enjoy coming to work every day.
Here, Phil discusses the issues faced by employers when carrying out such a task.
When considering how to cater for a diverse workforce we need to identify specific groups of people within the organisation and ensure that their needs are met.
We can start by looking at different departments and the roles they do. There will be obvious practical considerations such as equipment and facilities needed for those teams, but also you should factor in atmosphere, noise levels and other elements that could either help or hinder the team’s performance.
Then we should consider the individual people within those departments and across the organisation as a whole. In my experience a key differentiator is age. Different generations need to be catered for within the workplace and those employers who do this well benefit from increased performance and a happy team. In your workplace you may find up to 5 generations including:
- iGen – the youngest group in the workplace, aged 20 and younger. These prioritise ‘experiences’ over money or material goods.
- The Millennials – born between 1977 to 1995; the generation that came of age in the Nineties and Noughties,
- Generation X – born between 1965 to 1976,
- The Baby Boomers – born between 1946 to 1964. They will have generally worked traditional office hours at their desk for most of their working lives so therefore be sceptical about remote and flexible working.
- Traditionalists – born before 1946; as more people choose to work past retirement age this generation continues to contribute to the workforce. These prefer an environment that allows them to focus on their role without having distractions.
How ever your workforce is made up, your employees remain as individuals and there’s every chance you have Millennials who more closely resemble the Traditionalist stereotype and vice versa. Therefore, when catering for a multi-generational workforce, the emphasis must be on providing choice.
Give your employees different options and flexibility so they can work in a way that suits them. Coworking spaces and hotdesks, informal meeting areas, quiet zones and breakout spaces, as well as traditional desks and seating, all create a workplace that works for everyone.