It's not just about home office. How does Gen Z see the workplace environment?

The number of Gen Z-ers in the labour market has grown in recent years. Although some of them are still studying, many are already working, and not just in entry-level positions. How do young people from this generation perceive the work environment? What's important for them and how can you reach them?

XYZ – who's who?

Terrace advice
Colleagues conferring over work
Young colleague sitting at the computer

The boundaries of individual generations are not easy to define exactly. For this article, we used data from the Ipsos research agency, according to which the economically active part of the population is currently divided into four generations.

The oldest are the Baby Boomers born before 1965. Those born between 1966 and 1983 form Generation X, better known in the Czech Republic as Husák's children.
The third layer is Generation Y, people born between 1983 and 1995, often referred
to as Millennials.

The next generation, Gen Z, which differs in many ways from the previous ones, was born between 1995 and 2015, while
the youngest are members of Generation Alpha born after 2015.

Man working with child at computer

Children raised in
the glow of displays

Unlike previous generations, Generation Z is considered global and digitally savvy. They have lived with
the internet from a young age and their experience
using various online tools is naturally immense.

Football as part of the working environment

Although this might make it seem like they spend most
of their time online, this is not the case. Data from
a survey by marketing company WARC showed that
older age groups, especially people under
the age of 44, spend more time
on the internet than Gen Z

Informal meeting

Respect for nature and colleagues

According to Ipsos survey data from autumn 2022,
in contrast to Millennials, who primarily prefer work from home benefits, Gen Z cares more about respect
for their personal needs and flexible working hours.

wellness café full of plants

For example, Gen Z also consider their employer's environmental friendliness to be essential. Consistent recycling, an abundance of flora or circadian lighting is applied in the Longevity wellness café, whose progressive design focuses on a healthy interior environment.

An ideal office should be spacious, bright and diverse. It should give us the space to concentrate fully, but at the same time develop us and encourage us to be creative. Live plants will help us achieve this result, making the environment beautifully cosy.
Sára Nováková Cost Manager Furniture, CAPEXUS
colleagues having coffee in the relaxation zone

Young people also emphasize equal opportunities for development and being treated as colleagues rather than as cogs in a hierarchical system. They do not want
to work monotonously in one place but prefer to organize their time and tasks themselves. All these requirements set a new bar for offices while embodying the opportunity to create an employee-friendly work environment
to the next level.

I think office spaces should be open and airy. I like it when the individual spaces intertwine, are not fully enclosed and can be freely walked through. Closed spaces separate people from each other, which leads to the formation of groups instead of the company being one big entity.
Václav Větrovský Junior Technical Designer, CAPEXUS

A place for meeting and meditation

So what does the ideal office look like for a Gen Z-er? Young people appreciate different types of spaces for different work engagements, so that they can fully exercise their creativity and personality. It is good to think of both common rooms for intensive group work and quiet places where people can immerse themselves in solitary work that requires a high degree of concentration.

an unusual meeting room with a tree

"The design and style of the office is key for me. After all, we spend most of our time at work, and a pleasant working environment is crucial. There's got to be a place where I can eat in peace or chill somewhere, either
alone or with colleagues"
says Tereza Uhlíková,
Product Development Specialist at CAPEXUS.

micro office for loud phones

Pavlo Bodnar, Junior Technical Designer, CAPEXUS: "A quiet environment is important to me. I've worked in noisy offices, and they are not a place I would last long. The CAPEXUS office solves this problem perfectly. There are designated places for making phone calls or smaller enclosed spaces that look comfortable and contribute
to a calmer environment overall."

Another important part of offices for Generation Z are spaces for informal meetings such as kitchens, cafés, lounge areas – and private places to rest (relaxation rooms, etc.). Here, too, it depends on the individual's personality, whether they prefer a relaxation room or
a social kitchen. LMC's offices feature well-balanced informal spaces that combine the Chinese teachings of feng shui
with modern amenities.

Informal communication may seem like an unimportant point here, but I see it as one of the main pillars of workplace satisfaction. I want to go to the office not only to complete tasks on the to-do list, but also to be among a pleasant group of people dealing with various topics.
Jakub Kouřil Cost Manager, CAPEXUS
extensive urban open space

The ideal work environment suitable for Gen Z (and ultimately not only them) should reflect the needs and preferences of each individual and should offer differentiated and creative spaces that ensure freedom of movement around the office and the ability to personalize one's schedule.

The work environment should be clean, calm, inspiring (not the building, but the people in it) and should be able to work with error, self-reflection and technological advances. At the same time, unnecessary things like couches in every corner or rooms that aren't used for work (various yoga rooms, relaxation rooms, etc.) are not important to me.
Šimon Řezník Technical Design Manager, CAPEXUS
slide in the middle of the office

Would you like to open your offices to young people? Many of the innovations described in this article have also become part of our offices. We will be happy to guide you through them and propose a comprehensive solution just for your workplace, so do not hesitate to contact us.

Photos authors: Alex Shoots Buildings, Aeternus Pictures, Martina Prášková, Petr Andrlík, Prokop Laichter, Shutterstock, WTTJ

Published: February 17, 2023 

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