As COVID-19 continues to shape the working environment, it is becoming increasingly clear that many offices will be moving to a hybrid system, requiring employees to work from home for a portion of the week. Understanding how different generations may be affected by this transition and how they adapt is essential.
Working from home is a new and different concept for many businesses. We have plenty of data and resources regarding past generations’ working habits, but this issue is the first of its kind, so more research is needed. In this blog, we will investigate the current trends of the different generations and how they are adapting to working from home in today’s current climate.
Humans are psychologically and emotionally sensitive to external stimuli, meaning our reactions towards working from home are based on life experiences. Generally, older generations are more hesitant to adopt, whereas younger generations have more confidence and willingness to try something new. By understanding the different generations’ characteristics and preferences, we can better understand how they are reacting to this change.
We will discuss the changing dynamics of Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z and what trends are forming as they adapt to working from home.
Baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, have grown up in an era of traditional values. They are motivated by working hard and consistently remain loyal to the same company for many years. Boomers, therefore, are more accustomed to being in a physical office environment and struggle to adjust to working from home.
However, baby boomers are beginning to accept the new reality, and many are trying to embrace the change. They are now slowly adapting to working from home with the help of the necessary technologies and tools. As many of them are now retiring and transitioning to a life of leisure, many will naturally move to a more comfortable house with ample space for work. This means the typical baby boomer home will likely contain a study room or room that can be transformed into an office setting. This would allow them to better focus on their work and have a physically comfortable space.
Born between 1965 and 1980, Gen Xers have grown up with an industrial-age mentality. This generation is driven by success and climbing the career ladder. They are more flexible than their predecessors, adapting to new work practices with some more ease. Gen Xers are also more familiar with technologies and willing to try out new tools that can help them work more efficiently.
Gen Xers typically live in houses that are slightly bigger in their size, allowing them to create their own workspace. They are also more likely to have additional family members living with them, such as children or elderly relatives, and thus need to set up a separate space for their work. They are also modest in their spending and will only invest in tools they believe are necessary.
Millennials, born between 1981 and 1996, have grown up in a world of rapidly changing technology. Consequently, this generation is well adapted to modern gadgets and devices. In addition to that, they are always on the lookout for new trends, software and platforms to better their efficiency. Yet, they still value personal connection and are more comfortable building a team that works great together.
Due to their young age, millennials often stay in smaller living spaces such as city apartments. This means that they must be smart with their use of resources and find ways to create their own home office in limited space. Many turn to multi-functional furniture like folding desks and even wall-mounted desks. They are also more likely to invest in technologies and software to facilitate their work.
Gen Zers, born between 1997 and 2012, have grown up in a digital era and are completely plugged in. They are very comfortable working in a virtual environment and are more competent when using the required technology. Gen Zers, still in the early stages of their career, are highly motivated and take their job duties seriously. They have their eyes set on achieving success and know the value of hard work and dedication.
Like Millennials, Gen Zers live in smaller, cosier living spaces and need to be resourceful in creating their own office area. However, due to their enthusiasm for technology and gadgets, many such individuals often decide to invest in all sorts of work-related products and services. They will even join the “hustle culture”, working 24/7 and pushing their limits with the help of these technologies.
In conclusion, different generations are adopting the change of working from home in various ways. Baby Boomers have struggled to adjust due to their traditional values, but they are starting to embrace the idea. Gen Xers are more familiar with technology, so this transition wasn’t as challenging. Millennials and Gen Zers have been more successful in adapting as they have grown up in the digital age. Working from home has given them more freedom and opened doors for future possibilities.
It is important to note that the generations above rely heavily on technology. They all require specific tools and services to provide a comfortable, productive, secure working environment. By doing so, they can operate safely, flexibly and efficiently.
Which generation are you are what are your experiences?