How Gen Zs can change the workplace for the better

31 March 2023

How Gen Zs can change the workplace for the better

  • People Matters

The coming together of generations in offices is leading to flexibility, a greater degree of automation and digitalisation, and the growth of shared workspaces. Even new emerging business cities are witnessing the change.

Multi-lateral organisations and consulting firms around the globe now focus on the evolving demographics of their workforce. As companies across all industries continue to grow, they witness four generations of staff working together under the same roof—from baby boomers (born 1947-1964) to Generation X (born 1965-1980) to Millennials (born 1981-2000) to Generation Z (2001-2020). And it is impacting the dynamics of work in metros and emerging cities. Hence, programmes focusing on youth under 30 or those above 45 years of age are being undertaken to support a diverse staff.

What is happening across offices?

Many businesses have already begun implementing changes in response to this shift in demographics, but there is still a lot we don’t know about how Gen Z will impact the future of work. 46% of Gen Zs feel burned out due to the intensity/demands of their working environments. While 44% of Gen Zs say many people have recently left their organization due to workload pressure. Although, pay is the number one reason why Gen Zs left a role in the last two years. However, good work/life balance and learning/development opportunities were the top priorities when choosing an employer. Almost half of Gen Zs (46%) live paycheck to paycheck and worry they won’t be able to cover their expenses.

Since then, the workforce has experienced significant growth of Gen Zs across various industries. The rise of these ‘young adults’ has led to speculation about how they’ll change the workplace in the coming years. There will be a time when Gen Zs will account for about half the workforce across metros and emerging cities like Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Pune, and more, representing a huge chunk of the workforce. Together, Millennials, Gen Zs, and even the dreaded Centennials are revolutionising workplace culture.

Rising in flexibility in the workplace: One of the most important changes we’re already seeing is an increased emphasis on flexibility and a hybrid workplace. Gen Zs are leaning more towards maintaining a work-life balance that allows them ample time to invest in themselves as well as reflect positively on their job productivity. Also, most of the generation firmly believes that hustle culture takes a toll on mental health and that mutually accepted KPIs are better than experiencing burnout. Millennials have already proven that they value flexibility. However, Gen Zs will push this demand for flexibility even further. With their lesser experience working in a traditional office environment, they have a higher tendency toward entrepreneurship. It makes them more aware of the challenges of balancing a career with other aspects of life.

Rising diversity in the workplace: As a generation that has grown up with more exposure to different cultures, Gen Z focuses on diversity and inclusivity, as compared to their older colleagues. Studies have shown that Gen Z prefers to work with companies that have a more inclusive culture. It explains why Gen Zs are more likely than Millennials to switch jobs, even if they have to take a pay cut. This generation also tends to prefer working for a company that has a strong social mission. It has led to increased demand for businesses to become more socially responsible.

Employers, even in tier 2 cities, are responding to this demand by improving their recruitment practices by actively seeking out diverse candidates, hosting unconscious bias training sessions, and expanding their mentorship programs to help younger colleagues navigate the company culture. Employers are also working with employee resource groups or diversity councils to make sure their company culture is welcoming and inclusive. As a result, the different groups are collaborating more and breaking generational stereotypes, sharing ideas for growth.

Moreover, the COVID pandemic has only hastened digital adoption, offering unique advantages.

The impact on the workplace

A significant workplace trend that has already started to take hold is a preference for remote work and hybrid work. Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, strongly backed the work-from-home ecosystem and flexible work hours, calling them the future of work. Millennials have been driving this trend for a few years now, but Gen Zs are expected to push it even further, due in large part to the fact that they’ve grown up with technology that allows them to stay connected regardless of where they are.

The collective experience of the past two years has left a lasting imprint, fundamentally changing how these generations define the role of work in their lives. The data shows the Great Reshuffle is far from over: 70% of Gen Z and Millennials in India are likely to consider changing employers in the year ahead, compared to the global average of 52%.

Moreover, businesses are looking to automate their internal processes. As more and more industries transition to automation, it will have a significant impact on the workforce. The youth has already embraced automation via the use of artificial intelligence and robotics. Enhanced technology integration is impacting the design and building of offices. While offices have been recalibrated to adjust to the new trends, tier 2 cities and metros have seen the emergence of shared workplaces, which cater to small businesses, entrepreneurs, etc. As per the Awfis-Colliers joint report, about 70% of the occupiers are looking at having some sort of flexibility in their working models by incorporating either a hybrid working model or a hub-and-spoke model as their workspace strategy.

The outlook

With Baby Boomers and Millennials continuing to gravitate toward the gig economy, Gen Z may push this trend even further as they enter the workplace. As a result, more and more Gen Zs may choose to work in the gig economy rather than pursue a traditional 9-5 career. This shift may have significant repercussions for the entire workforce and workplace strategy. Companies may also have to adjust their strategies to account for a more decentralized workforce, especially as Gen Zs grow older and start families of their own.

On the other hand, startups have been on the frontline of pushing the ‘work from anywhere model to boost flexibility. Many companies have either gone fully remote or given some or most of their employees the opportunity to work from anywhere. Their working models may differ, but in a post-Covid environment and competitive jobs market, they all address workers’ increased need for more flexibility and better work-life balance.

This story appeared in the 15 December, 2022 issue of people matters and was originally published at: How Gen Zs can change the workplace for the better

Shifting focus: Why decentralized workspaces are emerging as the new normal

23 February 2021

Shifting focus: Why decentralized workspaces are emerging as the new normal

  • Posted by Arathy Nair
Many organizations have begun to reevaluate their real estate portfolios and rethink their approach to the concept of ‘office space’. An idea that is rapidly gaining prominence is the decentralized model, in which companies are looking to move away from a single centralized office space in favor of multiple, smaller satellite offices.

The rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown introduced a high level of isolation into each of our lives, especially for regular office goers who had to transition their way into the new normal rather swiftly. As the lines between work and home began to blur, technology served as a dependable medium that enabled us to engage with colleagues utilizing varied methods. These introductions helped companies to reach out to and comfort employees at a time where stress levels were at an all-time high and employee motivation was on a steady decline, given the sudden shift in lifestyle.

In fact, many organizations have begun to reevaluate their real estate portfolios and rethink their approach to the concept of ‘office space’. However, as time passes, working from home has started to show its downsides i.e. isolation, burnout and monotony aside from the recurring infrastructural and logistical gaps. In light of the same, managers have begun to seek alternatives to the current situation that are in adherence to the safety protocols. One idea that is rapidly gaining prominence is the decentralized model, in which companies are looking to move away from a single centralized office space in favor of multiple, smaller satellite offices that are strategically located in new and emerging markets.

The decentralized approach has become a viable option for addressing the challenges associated with working from home. Organizations have seen the merit in this and are now readily partnering with flex workspace providers for sustainable solutions to work from home and work near home.

Let’s look at why more and more organizations and employees alike are seeing the merit in this new way of working.

Collaboration is the essence of all organizations

While digital tools are enabling seamless performance of tasks while working from home, the workforce now longs for an environment that fosters collaboration which is not being met by working in silos/isolation. As time passes, employees wish to step out of their homes and relive the memories of water cooler conversations and tea breaks that not only leads to collaboration but also might spark innovative and intellectual ideas that help the organization grow.

Coworking centres as decentralized workspaces are the hub of collaboration, networking and growth.

Different job roles, Different requirements

The pandemic forced organizations to overnight adopt work from home despite the job role or sector. Most employees were quick to adapt to this change while others faced difficulties to manage the same due to varied job profiles or requirements. Sending out work related couriers, applying for visa, faxing or photocopying documents is an additional trip to the market while also managing the work for the day. These simple tasks have turned into a tremendous burden as said facilities are not available at the stretch of a hand.

Shared workspaces are equipped with best in class hospitality and concierge services to facilitate easy access and smooth functioning of day to day activities and much more. Round the clock access to work spaces, meeting rooms, contactless services and multi-cuisine restaurants while maintaining the highest standard of hygiene provides a synchronized work environment which is both smart and safe.

Savings on Real Estate costs

Ever since the restrictions were imposed, many offices are running on minimum capacity while others are completely vacant due to work from home. Since the pandemic is far from over, organizations are looking to optimize costs by letting go of their office spaces and partnering with coworking spaces.

Now, more than ever, individuals are seeking the experience and the feeling of an ‘office’ space, after being isolated for months. They’re looking forward to leaving their personal problems behind when entering a workspace and align their focus towards work, which will in turn enhance organizational productivity as well. Given that it is too early to assess when things will return to the way they were, decentralized workspaces are emerging as the preferred way of working amid this new normal.

This story appeared in the 26  November , 2020 issue of AdGully and is authored by Sumit Lakhani, CMO, Awfis. This article was originally published at :

Work from anywhere: The new age of workspaces

23 February 2021

Work from anywhere: The new age of workspaces

  • Posted by Arathy Nair

Back in 2019, no one would have anticipated how rapidly the Indian workspace scenario would change this year. However, as they say, unprecedented times lead to unprecedented changes, and that is exactly what we are witnessing – the new age of Indian workspaces. Workspaces have come nearer to us and entered our homes as well and working remotely is no longer a choice but the new normal. All these changes will come to define India’s new approaches to work and workspaces significantly.

The future has already begun

The rise of flex workspaces, the start-up boom and the gig economy had already set into motion changes in the workspace preferences of organizations and the workforce. However, the onset of COVID has certainly accelerated this in a big way. Today, flex workspace options are being sought after even by the most traditional organizations who are seeing the merit in such models as it not only helps ensure the health and safety of their people in this environment but also helps them optimize their costs.

Work from anywhere – The new mantra

The new reality that we are in is here to stay, and we therefore need sustainable means to enable ease and efficiency of work in the long run. Therefore, going forward, I see a combination of different work set ups being more effective instead of placing bets on one alone. A hybrid model that will blend both virtual and physical environments is the way to go. Distributed workforce will lead to distributed workspaces that will cut across physical headquarters, satellite offices and homes pan India. Let’s take a look at the various approaches being explored as part of this new normal.

According to a survey by Knight Frank, more than 70 per cent of companies are likely to continue the work-from-home policy for a percentage of their total staff for the next few months to maintain social distancing and for business continuity. However, for this to be a productive and convenient option at the same time, employees must be equipped with the right tools. Therefore, the need for work-from-home enabling solutions cannot be emphasized enough. According to a recent survey done by Awfis, around 71 per cent of employees feel they would be successful in working from home if they have a dedicated work area. For the home to double up as a conducive work environment, a complete set up is needed right from physical infrastructure to network connectivity and the requisite software. And we see companies increasingly investing in this for the benefit of their people and business operations.

The neighbourhood workspace

While work from home option is a great option, it comes with its own set of challenges. For instance, there are specific job roles that can be performed only in an office setup. However, in the current scenario, travelling over long distances to make it to main offices is not safe. And therefore coworking spaces near home are a preferred option. Coworking spaces have a large footprint thereby offering a lot of flexibility and access to a distributed workforce spread across the country, and are cost effective as well along with offering all the latest workspace amenities and facilities. Additionally, with the workforce increasingly craving in person engagement, more collaboration and a sense of community, flex workspaces are essentially safe spaces to enable this.

Win-Win Workspace models

Today, another challenge that companies are faced with is unutilized or underutilized real estate as a result of their workforce working from home or subsequent downsizing. At the same time, they are also unable to let go of this space due to limitations on lease terminations and future growth projections and expansion plans. This has led to these organizations partnering with flex workspaces like us to redesign and optimize this real estate, while creating an additional revenue source for them. This in turn adds to the network of shared workspaces across the country thereby further fuelling access to nearby coworking spaces for people across India.

Emergence of the smart office

Another emerging trend is that of the smart office concept that provides employees with an environment to unleash their true potential and enhance their productivity seamlessly. Smart office set ups are tech enabled and allow for hassle free operations and maintenance of office spaces with a single point of contact. For example, at Awfis, our app now comes with a touch-free smart scan option, booking of F&B for desk delivery, geo-tagged attendance management and customer first desk for easy reporting and tracking of issues thereby reducing the need for an in-person interface.

Re-designing of the workspace

We have seen office spaces change over the years from the traditional cabins to open offices. In a post COVID environment, we will see yet another wave of change with designs being further modified to ensure appropriate social distancing amongst the workforce.

With all the aforementioned options to work with, organizations will need to embrace models that work best for them – some even choosing to work with a combination of various workspace options that will cater to the varied requirements of their business and people in the best possible way, to offer a productive, convenient and sustainable workspace environment for the workforce.

This story appeared in the 26 September, 2020 issue of People Matters and is authored by Amit Ramani, Founder and CE0, Awfis. This article was originally published at: Blog: Work from anywhere: The new age of workspaces — People Matters

Workplace 2030: How the future of work will look like

20 February 2021

Workplace 2030: How the future of work will look like

  • Posted by Arathy Nair

Since the last few years, the contemporary workplace has been undergoing a series of rapid changes. Modern technology has made it possible for the workforce to work from anywhere, thereby reducing the necessity of physical work-desk. This, coupled with the swelling real estate prices across the globe, is compelling large corporations to rethink their workspace strategy.

The conventional idea of what constitutes work will continue changing and with Gen Z set to join the workforce, it becomes crucial for the existing workspaces to transform and cater to the requirements of the new-age workforce. We will witness a host of changes to create favorable work practices to suit their work style, their social conscientiousness and work-life balance. Young employees want to work with organizations that provide them with smart solutions, know their unique preference and requirements.

Amongst all the factors, technology will play a pivotal role in shaping the workplace culture in the coming decade. Technology will be more focused on providing experience and augmenting interactive employee engagement; in turn, creating an ecosystem of enhanced productivity, creativity, and culture. While it is impossible to predict the future with certainty, here are my two cents on how the workplace of 2030 will look like:

Customization using wearable technology & artificial intelligence

The traditional office setup will cease to exist within the next five to ten years. Laptops, smartphones, and tablets will become redundant and will give way to voice-activated assistants; the Internet of Things (IoT) will play an important role here. With the help of wearable technology such as embedded chips and wearable glasses, there will be a customized reflection in all parameters of an individual’s style of working. No more one-size-fits-all approach.

Moreover, the data provided by these devices will also personalize the furnishing as per the individual requirement. For instance, chairs will now be better suited to the user’s preference, comfort, and working style while keeping in mind the ergonomic requirements. Workspaces, too, will see a change based on specific conditions like brainstorming, meetings, and corporate sessions, networking or leisure time.

Video technology will reduce the need to travel while ensuring connectivity

Video communication technology in the past decade has evolved from the conventional video conferencing to holographic 3-D technology, enabling a face-to-face interaction that negates the actual need for physical presence.

These advancements will facilitate the ability of an individual to communicate, collaborate, contribute and deliver results remotely. There is also a scope of virtual reality to further enhance work-productivity by imitating the required environment. Thanks to high-speed internet connections, wide-scale interaction via video-connectivity is no more a buffering game, which will further heighten work efficiency as well as productivity.

Creation of smart buildings with interconnected smart workstations

With constant technological advancements, the future will bring an interconnected ecosystem. With the IoT analyzing the data received from all the public and private infrastructure in real-time, it will aid in understanding the individual preferences and factors important to the well-being of the people. The real-time analyzed data will allow workspaces to transform, adapt, and react to users instantaneously with health and safety being the centerpieces of infrastructure design and execution.

These spaces shall also be explicitly designed to maximize the lighting and ventilation, complementing the worker’s seating arrangements. Even the idle time for spaces such as desks, conference rooms, and training areas can drop to zero, ensuring optimized usage of space and asset deployment that can help shrink the real estate cost per square foot.

Naturally, we will also witness artificial intelligence become more accurate and automate repetitive, mundane tasks. Automation of these tasks will ensure better utilization of time and resources by directing it to more meaningful tasks and outcomes.

In summary, technology will enable wider, more profound, real-time connectivity and productivity gains by designing ‘individual focused office solutions’ that deliver near-zero idle time. These will drive business organizations to move away from traditional workspace solutions that offer much lower productivity in the congested, far from home, and one-size-fits-all workspace model. Over time, we will witness the workspace solution providers transition from being organization-driven to individual-driven, thus changing the fundamental concept of working.

This story appeared in the 24 February , 2020 issue of People Matters and is authored by Amit Ramani, Founder and CE0, Awfis. This article was originally published at: Blog: Workplace 2030: How the future of work will look like — People Matters