The forgotten generation

17 March 2017. Feature.

At Peldon Rose we pride ourselves on designing and creating office spaces that meet the requirements of all our people. To keep up to date on the changing needs of the UK workforce, we recently held our latest happy office survey which provides a unique insight into the interests and motivations of different age groups and how the workplace effects their overall wellbeing. It revealed that instead of focusing on short-term gimmicks and solutions to attract the latest bright, young talent, businesses would be better served taking a more considered approach and seeking to understand the needs of individuals.

Our survey revealed big differences in the wellbeing, attitudes and motivations of the workplace’s oldest and youngest employees. Office workers aged 55 years and over are the least content of all employees with only 23% feeling appreciated by their company. In contrast, the under 25 year olds are the office’s most positive employees with 55% feeling appreciated by their company.

What the survey also highlighted was businesses are creating a ‘forgotten generation’ of older workers who, despite their experience and knowledge, do not feel their voice is being heard at work. Only 17% of over 55s believe their opinions on the workplace are valued by their company, compared with 37% of the under 25s.

Differences were also apparent in their priorities and motivations while at work. We found that 76% of the under 25s think social events and wellbeing packages such as gym memberships (63%) are important for supporting their wellbeing at work, the 55+ age group consider social events (56%) and wellbeing packages (39%) as the least important workplace benefits.

However, the survey also showed similar views among age groups on some initiatives designed to improve the happiness and productivity of employees. Leading the way was the desire for increased exposure to natural light, with 87% of the over 55s and 83% of the under 25s saying it is important for their mental wellbeing at work. With the over 50s now accounting for more than 30% of the UK’s working population (9.4million people), this dissatisfaction in the workplace is an area which businesses need to act on.

Balancing the desires of both the older and younger generations in the modern workforce may seem difficult but it is important for the attraction and retention of your people and it can have a big impact on employees’ mood and productivity. By engaging and involving your employees in workplace decisions, you can have much more confidence that all their needs and desires have been considered.

If you are interested in creating a more harmonious, happy and engaging work environment for your staff, please get in touch. We’d love to help build an inspiring office for your whole business.

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