In the previous briefing, we discussed strategies and plans for returning to the office and then touched on the importance of empathy. Now we are focusing on workplaces well-being in these hybrid times. Additionally, we need to consider a total of four generations: Generation Z, millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers. Each with a unique perspective on work. Here, we explore the important and shifting attitudes required to create inclusive and healthy workspaces.
Panel debate at FRAME
In a panel debate initiated by FRAME, international leaders from major companies discussed how businesses can improve workplace well-being. Here are some of the insights:
- Lisa Britz from LinkedIn emphasizes the importance of individual choice, creating safe, inclusive, and accessible workspaces to build a strong foundation for the well-being of the entire team. “When we enter the room with our colleagues, we build social and important capital.” LinkedIns new flagship is designed entirely for hybrid work and well-being, with a wide variety of seating areas instead of fixed locations.
- Physical factors, such as natural light, fresh air, and biophilic materials, play a significant role. Our environments have evolved faster than our biology, explained Christina Blach from Lys Technologies, which produces lighting systems adapted to natural circadian rhythms. She highlighted research comparing modern workers to cave dwellers. “We spend more time indoors in caves than the cave people did; they only slept in the caves, and now we work in these caves all day long.”
- Real estate development company Edge Workspaces uses Leesman, to collect data on workplace well-being. Insights and learnings are used as a basis for interior designers.
Young people’s perspective on Work
Gen Z, raised with TikTok and social media, reject the “hustle culture” and overtime. However, this does not mean a lack of ambition. On the contrary, Gen Z is reported as the most stressed generation in the workplace. They struggle with concerns over the cost of living and are still affected by the isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a global survey from 2022. Flexible work arrangements, work-life balance initiatives, and fostering a positive and inclusive work culture are crucial in creating an environment where young workers can evolve.
Abandon the stereotypes!
Creating a vibrant work culture for young people, offering flexibility for parents juggling their lives, and avoiding discouraging older employees. Everyone should have a place and feel included. To meet diverse user needs, versatile workspaces are created where architects and interior designers draw inspiration from the hospitality sector. This includes everything from library-like rows of desks and hotel lobbies to lively cafes and home-like environments integrated at the office.
According to sociologist Mauro Guillén, the era of general age labeling is over. His book “The Perennials: The Megatrends Creating a Postgenerational Society” predicts that technology will lead to a more fluid and flexible approach to life. “Perennials” are those who go beyond and disregard traditional age stereotypes and expectations. After all, we are only humans who enjoy thriving.
Mentorship between generations
To facilitate exchange between multiple generations working side by side, natural spaces for knowledge sharing are created, inviting conversations and informal meetings. According to a survey by Unispace och CoreNet office cafes and other casual areas promote interaction between different hierarchical levels and age groups. These spaces help break down barriers and create a sense of camaraderie, enabling the transfer of knowledge and expertise from one generation to another.
The human is at the center of furniture design, as always. All furniture should support the need for dynamic environments that consider a well-functioning workplace, regardless of culture and generation. For example, Mute Focus, available in fully upholstered version, provides a softer feel that invites private conversations. Similarly, we introduce the new curved model of Log. We also notice that work desks and storage often are chosen in warmer colors and wood stains. Being a natural part of creating an inclusive atmosphere and a sustainable future feels obvious. Visit our factory, and we can discuss customizations and preferences. For inspiration, surf over to horreds.se.
Hälsningar Per-Ola Johansson
Sources: Next Big Idea Club, FRAME, Work In Progress