Two big questions loom heavily in board rooms, HR offices, and small businesses alike: (1) How do we attract talent; and (2) How do we retain talent? Getting answers is essential in coordinating a multi-generational workforce, especially as Gen Z begins its career ladder ascent. Born between 1997 and 2012, these young people, in general, seem to have little problem switching jobs if what they’re doing and where they’re doing it don’t match their values. What to do? Many employers are offering coworking spaces. The opportunities, culture, and amenities they provide resonate with Gen Z’s ideals and passions.
A sense of belonging, collaboration, flexibility, tech centricity, and sustainability rank high with Gen Zers, right along with wellness and skill development. What do they find in shared workspaces that match these values? Here’s a short list:
A ready-made, diverse network that promotes a wide variety of interaction. Communal areas such as lounges, conference rooms, outdoor terraces, coffee bars, and kitchens set the stage for group work and brainstorming. Coworking spaces help build community with special events such as workshops, hackathons, panel discussions, art exhibitions, and mixers. The mutual support and connection inherent in such environments align with Gen Z’s desire for personal growth and a sense of purpose.
In a big way, coworking spaces also facilitate mentoring, another facet of community building. In environments that encourage knowledge sharing and collaborating, it’s easy for Gen Zers to find one or more people who are willing and able to help guide their career paths. Potential mentors easily found in open and collaborative coworking spaces come from a diverse pool of professionals who share a common interest in innovation, creativity, and tech.
For Gen Z, they see mentoring as the way work gets done. They value the input of people who have more experience than they do, and seek it out so that they can apply it to their own jobs and lives, says MentorcliQ.com.
• Technological Emphasis
Post-millennials—those born after 1996 and known as Gen Z—have a deep, universal understanding of technology and its potential to transform how we work and live, according to global research released by Dell Technologies. What they’ll find, especially in newer coworking communities, is the latest in tech, such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), workspace management apps, cloud-based storage solutions, interactive whiteboards, 3D printing, smart analytics, and robotics.
Gen Zers are digital natives, place a premium on efficiency and productivity, and prioritize continuous learning and improvement; therefore, the tech tools (and those who are creative in using them) readily found in many coworking spaces are a huge draw.
Energy efficiency, renewable energy, waste reduction, reusable products, green building materials, virtual resources, natural lighting and ventilation, water conservation, and green transportation options are just some of the sustainability practices that can be found in coworking spaces. For a generation growing up with greater environmental awareness, focusing on minimizing long-term negative impacts to ecosystems, and having a strong sense of social responsibility, such initiatives are seen as essential.
Well-balanced, purposeful lives are key to Gen Z. They have grown up during a time of great uncertainty and change and they have witnessed the health challenges of previous generations. For these reasons, Gen Zers understand the importance of prioritizing their mental health and wellness.
Coworking spaces, then, are a great match for health-conscious Zoomers. In them Gen Z will find quiet zones, wellness rooms, relaxation spaces, fitness facilities, and outdoor green areas and gardens. They’ll be able to take advantage of activities such as yoga sessions, meditation classes, and nutrition workshops. No doubt they’ll also discover like-minded people who share their commitment to holistic well-being.
Gen Z has shown a strong preference for flexible work arrangements and remote work options. It is entrepreneurial in nature, thrives in diverse and collaborative environments, and is socially conscious. Employers who provide access to coworking spaces are more likely to attract and retain Gen Z talent, as they can offer the social interaction and professional development opportunities that this generation craves.