Furnishing tips: How Gen Z is influencing workplace design

With the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, it had raised some questions as to what the new workspaces and interior designs would look like once life returned to normal. While we’ve seen some innovative work environments like the hybrid work model, companies now need to adapt to an even more flexible work culture while trying to maintain and improve the productivity of their workforce.

With the new briefs that companies are now publishing interior designers for their design and construction of future workspaces; you have to look forward to the bigger picture of your workforce and a new perspective on design. Considering that the country’s workforce would be made up mostly of Millennials and Gen Z in the next few years, companies must now also pay attention to employee retention and seek to leverage local talent and build a growth-oriented team that is rich of functions is roles.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Kunal Sharma, Founder and CEO of Flipspaces, shared: “Employees now want to feel safe and secure in the workspaces they are currently working in, but at the same time want to feel like they are are in a more collaborative and open environment that encourages productivity and culture. Both generations previously spoken of, Gen Z in particular, are referred to as “digital natives” as they were born of voice and breath technology. With this exposure, they are more aware and run their routines with technology. Knowing this, companies need to ensure their workspaces are now equipped with technologies that encourage innovation, collaboration, employee breakout zones, virtual meeting rooms (Zoom/Google Meets), and new privacy pods and quiet zones.”

He added: “Acoustics are crucial in a work environment, which also affects productivity. Therefore, when designing workspaces, it is crucial to create smaller spaces with work-grade soundproofing. Recognizing that the new age workforce is more aware of timely and sensitive public issues such as climate change and sustainability in nature, work environments must now take these into account while providing a design brief.”

According to Vasant Nangia, CEO of Chumbak, Gen Z now see their workplace as an integral part of their entire day. He said: “The pandemic has further reinforced that belief as they are now used to a very different work environment than ever before. So we have to take care of flexible hours and days and workplace essentially for team work. In terms of design, aside from the facility itself, it must be designed for teamwork, collaborative meetings, and a place for creative thinking. Unlike standard offices, Gen Z is now looking for more personalization and creative spaces at work too.”

Uttamaditya, CEO and Founder of U&I Interiors, pointed out that a Gen Z-influenced workplace design is an environment in which employees feel free to collaborate, experiment and express themselves openly, saying: “A collaborative Environment means less hierarchy and employees feel empowered to take risks. A culture of experimentation encourages innovation and improved problem solving and leadership development. And an environment where employees feel comfortable expressing themselves boosts creativity and team morale. These changes will not happen overnight, but with foresight and planning ahead, you can create a workplace design that is specifically tailored to the needs of Gen Z employees.”

It’s no secret that Millennials, the new generation, Gen Z, the terms people use, are influencing many things in the marketplace, including workplace design. Create Design Studio chief designer Sushant Rawal said: “Covid-19 has created a concept of working from home that was previously unaccepted by offices and that is also a big part of how the new generation wants their workplace to be. The nature of working in a beautiful environment that provides good vibes for better productivity and has new technologies is what our generation expects and demands. Recently set up a co-working space that focuses on biophilic office designs, the breakout rooms and play zone for fertile results, giving this place a pinch of everything with a minimalist approach rather than giving the place a zest.”

He concluded: “The workplace is where we spend most of our day and it has to be where you want to stay. One thing Gen Z is looking for is an overall personal and social environment that offers the opportunity to socialize and have their own space when they need it. The flexibility in the workspace adds to the creative side and breaks the monotonous vibe.”

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