4 Ways Companies Can Revamp the Office Structure to Make it Work for Employees of All Generations

meeting with men and women of different generations

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine2.3k
May 27, 2024 at 12:31PM UTC

We are at a crossroads in the workforce. Today, four generations are represented in the workplace. Even many Baby Boomers, millions of whom left their jobs since the onset of the pandemic, are considering a return to the workforce. But with Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z to contend with, too, there are bound to be some clashes in work styles, attitudes, and approaches. How can you create a culture that includes everyone’s values and perspectives — no matter what their generation?

1. Embrace a remote or hybrid workplace.

Across generations, people are looking for alternatives to the traditional in-office work scenario. Remote work has been shown to increase productivity and boost engagement, according to a wide body of research.

And people coming from different age groups reap the rewards of a remote workplace. It’s also a step toward eliminating perceived hierarchies in the workplace — for example, there’s no need to consider when you should have an open layout or individual offices and cubicles.

2. Offer multiple reward structures.

There are a lot of generalizations about people from different generations, and, of course, they don’t apply to all members of each group. That said, everyone is different and seeks different things from their workplace. 

Some businesses attempt to appeal to younger generations by offering perks like food and onsite gyms. But this isn’t necessarily a focus for older generations. In order to embrace differences and ensure you are meeting the needs of everyone, implement a range of reward structures for a job well done — whether that means extra PTO, bonuses or vocal recognition.

3. Bridge the gap.

One way to help people from different generations to connect in the workplace and beyond is to provide formal structures for doing so. For example, perhaps you could implement a mentorship program, encouraging workers to meet and offer guidance and support. Mentoring is rewarding for a number of reasons, and by establishing this type of program, you are helping cultivate lasting professional relationships.

4. Be flexible.

Ultimately, it’s about flexibility. In order to account for generational differences and meet the needs of all workers, employers must embrace a flexible mindset, providing multiple options that give their employees choices.

For example, some organizations around the world are experimenting with four-day work weeks or shorter workdays. This is just one idea — there are numerous possibilities when it comes to engaging your people and ensuring that you are helping them achieve a balance in their busy schedules.

Employers must be adaptable, recognizing that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to managing individuals with different backgrounds, experiences and contributions. Most of all, they must recognize the value of each and every member of their team — and make them feel seen and heard.

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This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance editor and writer based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab-mix Hercules. She primarily focuses on education, technology and career development. She has worked with Penguin Random House, Fairygodboss, CollegeVine, BairesDev and many other publications and organizations. Her humor writing has appeared in the Weekly Humorist, Slackjaw, Little Old Lady Comedy, Flexx Magazine, Points in Case, Jane Austen's Wastebasket, and Greener Pastures. She also writes fiction and essays, which have appeared in publications including The Memoirist and The Avalon Literary Review. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.

What’s your no. 1 piece of advice for making the workplace work for employees of all generations? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members?

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