Once you read the headline it makes sense: employees that work from home do have different needs based on their generation. Consider Generation Z and Millennials that grew up with electronics as part of their everyday life vs. baby boomers that have had to learn to adapt and evolve to learn electronics over the course of their professional careers. Let's explore how different generations in the workforce are handling today's modern work schedules and work-from-home.
And the Survey Says …According to a survey conducted by Nintex, most employees working from home due to COVID-19 report getting more work done and feel as though they’re more efficient at jobs away from the office. However, not everyone has adapted to working from home well.
What Would Make Work Better and Easier for Different Generations in the Workforce?When asked what would make their work better and easier at home, respondents in different generations in the workforce said:
- Generation Z (born between 1997 and 2012) - 55% of people in this age group would prefer that businesses incorporate more software to help automate their workflow.
- Millennials (born between 1981 to 1996) - Overall, 50% said they would choose to have their home office outfitted with better hardware equipment.
- Gen X (born between 1965 to 1980) - 56% said a flexible work schedule is a top choice.
- Baby Boomers (born between 1946 to 1964) - Nearing retirement, 42% of Baby Boomers would like a salary increase.
What Would Improve Work-Life?When asked what the top thing that would help to improve their work-life in 2021 is, respondents said:
- Generation Z - 60% said they would like to have a work allowance to equip their home office with faster WiFi.
- Millennials - 63% said they too would like an allowance for faster WiFi, as well as better home office equipment.
- Gen X - 56% said they would like a work allowance for faster WiFi and upgraded home office equipment.
- Baby Boomers - 60% said they need a raise at this point in their professional lives.
What Can Employers Do to Ease Difficulties for Different Generations in the Workforce?Employers can implement the following recommendations to help boost employee productivity especially for different generations in the workforce while employees work from home during the pandemic.
- Implement Dedicated Workstations - Provide employees with dedicated workstations and office equipment to outfit their home office. Then they won’t feel obligated to work while they’re doing personal laptop Google queries for the latest home and yard projects on the weekends.
- Productivity Tools - Management needs to make sure that employees can stay connected to boost efficiency. Whether you decide to use Dropbox, Slack, Asana, Google Hangouts, Basecamp or Google Drive, come up with a plan to make sure everyone is on the same page.
- Time Frame Expectations - Be clear about if you require employees to be available during certain hours when working from home or if they can set their schedules. If employers choose to allow employees to set their own schedules, have a mutual calendar that highlights each team member’s schedule to reduce possible miscommunications.
- Regular, Routine Contact - Just because employees work from home doesn’t mean that management can go radio silent. Managers must reach out and maintain regular contact with employees. Whether it’s an instant message chat to check-in or a scheduled video call, regular contact helps ensure that employee morale remains high during these difficult times.
- Embrace Personal Situations - Working from home isn’t everyone’s first choice. If you have an employee thrust into a less-than-optimal situation, be flexible with their personal situations. Parents may need to adjust their hours slightly to accommodate children’s online school. Remote teams often benefit from a bit of flexibility.