Group of young people around table
With a new wave of young talent entering the workplace, we caught up with Marcus Baumber, one of our surveyors based at our Manchester office, to learn why and how businesses need to adapt and rethink their workspaces to attract and retain Gen Z.
Gen Z, are those born between 1996 and 2015, are characterised as tech-natives who are environmentally conscious and seek greater flexibility to achieve a better work/life balance so the days of boring traditional office space with banks of desks, stacks of grey filing cabinets and depressing office decor are over with this new generation of workers expecting more.
With 75 per cent of Gen Zs stating they prefer hybrid or remote working patterns, according to Deloitte’s Global 2022 Genz and Millennial Survey, the advancement of hybrid working is certainly here to stay.  This increase in remote working patterns means that time spent in the office is now even more valuable, particularly for those at the start of their careers where the face-to-face interaction with colleagues makes learning, development, and building relationships not only easier but also more enjoyable! It is imperative that office spaces offer an enticing environment giving Gen Zs a reason to come into the office. 
Some important considerations when rethinking an office space with Gen Z in mind include:
• Collaborative and flexible design
Traditional office fit-out of the old is not conducive to modern working systems. Office design of the present should be focused on collaboration - with breakout spaces and informal seating areas, that encourage creativity and team working. Well-thought-out design will go a long way to attracting and retaining the next generation of employees over design gimmicks such as ping pong or pool tables.
• Additional facilities
When considering office space, it is important to assess what additional amenities the building provides. Are there end-of-journey facilities such as bicycle racks, showers and changing facilities? Complementary coffee and tea points? Bookable communal meeting rooms? Outdoor space? Or even a gym? All of these things make coming into the office more appealing and the commute more worthwhile.
• Sustainability and wellbeing
Sustainability is not just a tick-box exercise for Gen Z but something they feel genuinely passionate about. With 94 per cent of Gen Zs believing companies should address environmental issues, an office that has sustainability in mind, both in terms of the building itself and the internal fit-out, will help attract young employees and demonstrate a company’s environmental consciousness.
A sustainable office, in turn, increases staff wellbeing because of improved air quality, thermal comfort, natural light and biophilia which has been shown to increase productivity and creativity, reduce stress and improve overall wellbeing. 
• Technology
Gen Z are the first tech native generation having not known life before the age of the internet. Gen Z expects a fully integrated tech workplace which helps to improve efficiencies and productivity. This can be done through adopting technologies such as desk booking apps, digital conferencing rooms and integrated communication systems.
The pandemic had a seismic impact on the workplace which caused a rapid evolution in how we view the office and with Gen Z, and their differing values and beliefs, having an ever-increasing presence in the workforce, the evolution in the office is only likely to continue to develop. By embracing the preferences and values of Gen Z in workplaces, businesses can create an environment that attracts and engages them. 
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