With five generations in the workplace today, it can be challenging for companies to balance the needs and expectations of each group. Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials, Gen Z, and even Traditionalists all bring unique values, experiences, and preferences to the workplace, so just exactly what does each generation want, need and value most?
The generation that witnessed a revolution, Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964, growing up in the Post-WWII era of economic prosperity and social change.
Boomers sit between traditional values and modern perspectives, and are often primarily motivated by job security and financial stability. As a result, they tend to be more loyal to their employers and prefer old-school, face-to-face communication. Boomers also typically value their privacy and personal space more, with a preference for traditional office settings that feature private offices or cubicles.
Born between 1965 and 1980, Gen Xers are the tech-savvy trailblazers brought up in the midst of the rise of technology and globalization through the colorful 80s and 90s. They tend to value work-life balance and autonomy, and are generally comfortable with technology, while also appreciating personal relationships and face-to-face communication.
Gen Xers also favor flexible work arrangements, such as the option to work remotely or have a flexible schedule.
Coming along between 1981 and 1996, Millennials could be referred to as 'The Digital Natives' having grown up during the digital age and the advent of social media.
Millennials often prioritize work that aligns with their values, and that includes positive company culture, and innovative, inclusive environments. They are very comfortable with technology and prioritize a healthy work-life balance, with a preference for flexible work arrangements. Millennials value feedback and opportunities for growth and development.
Gen Zers are the high-tech babies born between 1997 and 2012, and they are generally the ones most motivated by social responsibility and making a positive impact in the world. They are usually super tech-savvy and comfortable with remote work and digital communication.
Gen Zers also prioritize a diverse, dynamic work environment, as well as opportunities for learning and development.
Born before 1945, Traditionalists bring a wealth of experience, knowledge and wisdom to the workplace. They often prioritize stability, hard work, and respect for authority. Traditionalists also value clear communication and may prefer more traditional office settings.
In addition to the needs of each generation, it's also worth examining a fundamental need that unites all workers: security. In an age of heightened awareness regarding cybersecurity and workplace crime, security is a top concern for employees of all ages.
The COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally changed the way we work, with many companies now embracing remote work as a long-term work model. As the pandemic begins to fade into the distance, it's clear that remote work is here to stay: according to McKinsey& Company's American Opportunity Survey, 58% of Americans now reportedly have the opportunity to work from home for at least one day a week.
As remote work becomes more prevalent, it's important for companies to invest in modern security measures that can effectively protect their employees and assets, regardless of where they are working. Remote work brings with it a host of security risks, from cyberattacks to physical security threats. Without the proper security measures in place, companies risk exposing sensitive data and leaving their employees vulnerable to harm.
One of the most effective ways to protect workers in the modern office is by implementing a commercial electronic door lock system. These systems use electronic keycards or biometric scans to control access to sensitive areas of the office, ensuring that only authorized personnel can enter. This can be especially important for companies that deal with sensitive data or valuable assets, as it provides an extra layer of protection against theft.
Another important security measure for remote workers is the use of virtual private networks (VPNs). How does a VPN work? A VPN creates a secure, encrypted connection between an employee's computer and the company's network, allowing them to access sensitive data and resources without exposing them to any outside threats. This is a vital measure for companies that deal with financial or personal data, as it helps to ensure that this information remains confidential and secure.
Finally, companies should also invest in employee training and education around security for both in-office environments and remote-working practices. This can include everything from teaching employees how to create strong passwords and avoid phishing scams, to providing regular security updates and reminders. By creating a culture of security awareness and vigilance, companies can help to ensure that their remote workers are protected against a wide range of security threats.
Each generation brings unique experiences and preferences to the workplace. By understanding what each group wants from their office experience, companies can create a workplace that is both productive and fulfilling for all employees. By balancing the needs and expectations of each generation and investing in modern security, companies can create a workplace that is both safe and enjoyable for everyone.