The UK has witnessed a significant challenge as 80% of small businesses reported difficulties recruiting skilled applicants in the past year.
As the workforce sees a generational shift with the rise of Gen Z and millennials into senior management, the traditional motivations of salary and job titles are no longer the sole driving factors. Instead, the collective mindset is evolving, and employees are seeking workplaces that align with their values, well-being, and sustainability aspirations.
The changing employee mindset
The historical willingness to sacrifice personal well-being for professional endeavours is fading away.
Gen Z and millennials are not working less hard. Rather, they are more empowered and knowledgeable about their health and options.
The 2023 Deloitte Global Gen Z and Millennial survey highlighted that, for these values-driven generations, the ability to drive change on social issues can either make or break recruitment and retention efforts.
Sustainability at work: A key factor
One crucial aspect shaping the preferences of millennial and Gen Z employees is sustainability. Despite organisations claiming commitment, more than 50% of these generations’ express disillusionment with their employers’ efforts.
The survey revealed that over half of Gen Zs and millennials research a brand’s environmental impact before accepting a job offer. Additionally, a significant number have either changed jobs or plan to do so in the future due to climate concerns.
Work-life balance: A priority
The pandemic has accelerated a shift in priorities, with Gen Z and millennials prioritising a better work/life balance. This generation places high personal and financial value on their careers but is not willing to sacrifice their health.
The demand for better career advancement opportunities for part-time jobs, condensed work weeks, job-sharing, and flexible hours has grown since 2022.
‘Balance’ is not just about time off work; it encompasses how team members feel in the workplace and the impact of their jobs on their health and quality of life.
Priceless values amid financial challenges
Even in the face of a cost-of-living crisis, the commitment of this generation to their values remains unwavering. Deloitte notes that many are delaying significant life decisions and adopting money-saving behaviours that align with environmental sustainability.
Employees place a strong emphasis on employers supporting sustainability efforts through measures such as subsidies for electric cars, banning single-use plastic, and greening office locations.
How design supports top talent
Office design emerges as a pivotal factor in addressing the evolving needs of the workforce.
With increased awareness of sustainability, health, and work/life balance, employees are now actively driving the agenda.
Forward-thinking companies are incorporating these considerations into their corporate social responsibility initiatives.
The modern employee is passionate, fearless, and informed, pushing for workplaces where they proactively want to work, not just where they feel they need to work.
Building employee values into your workplace
For employers, designing or redesigning office spaces is an opportunity to embed well-being, sustainability, and contemporary values into the organisational fabric.
The key to attracting and retaining top talent lies in understanding and adapting to the evolving mindset of the workforce. Take a look at a recently completed project for Lowell Financial to see an office space that aligns with values, promotes sustainability, and prioritises well-being which can be the differentiator in a competitive talent landscape.
Companies willing to invest in these aspects are not just creating workspaces; they are building environments that attract and retain the best talent for the long term.