A-Z of the future workplace:

Gen Y

Over the years, many studies have considered the differences between generations in the workplace. As the generations age, these findings begin to develop and change. Because of this, we have taken a look into the life of a Gen X, Y and Z at work and considered how we believe this will change in years to come.

Introducing Matthew – Generation Y 

Matthew is a millennial and works as a recruiter for a recruitment company in London. He has been there for 18 months and rents a flat in the city.

When Matthew was seeking out this role, his top considerations were whether his new company would offer a work life balance, make him feel valued and offer office perks such as private medical cover etc. Matthew considers these perks more important than tangible rewards or financial incentives, as he has grown up being rewarded with praise and gratitude during his childhood. Receiving feedback and formal reviews every couple of months help Matthew to feel like he is developing and is crucial to his success going forwards.

Being a millennial, Matthew has seen his parents work the traditional 9-5 during his childhood. He believes that rigid structures like this don’t aid productivity or creativity and thinks that the future workplace should offer a better work life balance. Matthew’s company made it clear that they prioritise flexible working, allowing employees to work from wherever, whenever. Their company policy allows their workers to do the hours that suit them. Because of this, Matthew likes to go to the gym in the morning and go into work for 10am, working till 6:30pm. Being a recruiter, these hours work best as people become more available to speak during the latter part of the day.

Whilst Matthew stays up in London for the week, he likes to go back to his family home for the weekend to spend some time relaxing, away from the busy London life. He enjoys travelling, considering experiences more important than owning physical objects. He loves to use his annual leave to travel the world with his friends, making sure he has a snow, city and beach break each year. Growing up with baby boomer parents, he grew up with a spending mentality, rather than the prudent tendencies of his predecessor Generation X and successor Generation Z.

When it comes to technology, Matthew grew up with dial-up, and watched this rapidly turn into the always connected world that we live in to this day. He enjoys convenience, so having everything at the click of a button is very important to him. He utilises technology in his personal life, being an avid online shopper. Convenience is a huge factor for him when choosing technology, and he finds using up to date tech at work makes him more productive, especially as he has been adapting to new technology since his formative years.

His office utilises agile working, and he finds the concept works well for him. Matthew likes to keep busy and avoid being sedentary at work, so choosing where to work depending on his task allows him to be the most efficient. Although he works for a recruitment company, his office doesn’t feel like a traditional call centre. Using his headset, Matthew enjoys being on his feet while making calls, walking around the office and using a sit stand desk. For his admin tasks, he will find an acoustic booth to get his head down for peace and quiet. Growing up, Matthew’s parents both worked, so he had to self-motivate and find ways to help him get his school and college work done most effectively. For him, an agile office is not much different, allowing him to use the space in the way that works best for his tasks.

Millennials like Matthew have officially made their mark on the workplace. They now officially dominate the UK workforce, being named as the biggest demographic cohort, making up 35% of the UK workforce. In view of this, it shows why it is such a huge consideration for companies to be ready and willing to change in order to support this generation. Millennials are hardworking, they are flexible and forward thinking, but most of all they need a workplace that will help support their ways of working, avoiding rigidness that doesn’t allow them to develop and grow.