How do you design for Generation Z?
We know all about the baby boomers, Generation X and the millennials. But what comes after these? According to Neil Howe and William Strauss, there are four main types of generational group, that repeat in a roughly 80-year cycle over the course of history. These correspond with four main stages of society: The high, the awakening, the unraveling and the crisis.
According to the research from Howe and Strauss, millennials fit into the ‘hero’ generation, last signified by the rise of famous figures like John F. Kennedy. This current batch, born after 1982, consists of figures like Mark Zuckerberg. As we work through the ‘crisis’ phase due to the GFC, the following generation, along this pattern, would be a network of artists and creatives that form a cultural high.
It’s only one theory, but it has a lot of support. This next generation, born anywhere from the mid-1990s to today, has a lot of names bandied about for it: iGen and Homelanders are but two. For the purposes of looking at how to prepare the workforce and modern office design for the next generation, however, we’ll call them Generation Z. The millennial mobile workforce is already well underway, as we have discussed in other office fitout pieces – but what about preparing your small to medium enterprise for the long term?
Accommodate for a shift in the work-life balance
One of the defining features of Generation Z is that it’s the first wave of people who have grown up around the internet all their lives. Many us remember a time before our homes, schools and offices were without omnipresent computers and devices, but this is first nature to Gen Z.