Industry Talk

Regular Industry Development Updates, Opinions and Talking Points relating to Manufacturing, the Supply Chain and Logistics.

Fulfilling Gen-Z’s demand for flexibility needn’t come at the cost of engagement

As the world around us changes, so do our priorities and expectations – especially when it comes to where many of us spend most of our time: at work. Along with the changing face of the workplace, there has been an inevitable shift in what employees – of all ages – have come to expect from employers.

We now want roles that fit with our life and out-of-work commitments, not the other way around. Beyond a chunky wage packet, we want employers that align with our values and support our wellbeing. And the result if our needs aren’t met? We’re often disengaged and less productive.

These expectations are seen clearly in the new workforce – Gen Z. While their attitude to work may seem more relaxed to previous generations, as they place wellbeing as a top importance, businesses must not ignore what they want from employers. We know Gen Z are passionate about making a difference and that they place hybrid or flexible working over salary when choosing where to work. They are flying the flag for positive change for all.

Technology can help meet these expectations and encourage an enthusiastic, inspired workforce of all generations.


A wellbeing orientated at-home workspace

Stress at work is nothing new. But historically, methods to support employees have focused on post-stress support rather than preventative. Thankfully, there are now more tools than ever to help ease the stress that may come with work overload from a poor workspace environment.

A massive 78% of employees in a Harvard study said that natural light improved wellbeing, and 70% said it improved work performance. But employees working from home, especially those in flat shares (as most Gen-Z will be), often find themselves working wherever there’s space, which is either away from natural light, or has natural light coming in from behind their working set up, which can impact image quality on video calls. Being seen clearly is critical to effective collaboration, and therefore overall employee engagement.

To overcome this, hybrid workers should be provided with sophisticated webcams that have decent light correction abilities and high-quality image correction, to help employees be seen clearly, whatever their home working set up and light situation. Mood and motivation from natural light doesn’t have to come at the compromise of effective hybrid collaboration.

Working wherever there’s space can also mean working in cramped conditions, which can take a physical toll on employees, and therefore their mood and productivity. Ergonomic mice and keyboards can go a good distance to solving these issues, reducing strain and preventing the danger of RSI injuries, helping employees stay comfortable.

These simple tech tweaks are just a few ways to promote focus, engagement, and support wellbeing in the workplace. This is a win-win for both employees and businesses as comfy workers are happy, productive ones.


Ensuring inclusion, wherever you’re working

In 2023, most workers will engage in some form of hybrid working – with a recent survey finding that around 40% of working adults work from home at some point in their week. Needless to say, employees need to feel like they are fully engaged and part of the team, regardless of where they are working. This is especially important to Gen Z – who have most likely spent their entire working lives in a hybrid model and may not feel as integrated into the workforce.

To keep everyone engaged and ensure meeting equity, it is essential that companies implement high-quality video collaboration tools that can break down the gap between those in the office and those working remotely. New innovations such as tabletop conferencing cameras can help close this gap, ensuring that everyone is seen equally during virtual meetings and facilitating a welcoming atmosphere. Working alongside a traditional camera at the front of the room, these cameras are able to also show the faces of those in the room clearly, meaning that rather than being met with a room full of distant faces and bodies, remote workers can also catch the nuance of facial expression as if they were across the table.

Additionally, employers should consider using whiteboard cameras to keep meetings interactive and engaging, and to help share analogue content. These technologies allow teams to work together in real-time and seamlessly share information. Working together, these technologies can help to keep employees fully engaged, and help them to feel valued.


Listening to Gen Z to create a more positive and engaged workforce

Gen Z’s passion for keeping the workplace healthy, happy, and engaged is something we all should be championing – and technology can help us foster this environment. Creating a good culture often requires embracing a brand-new perspective, and Gen Z are here to provide us with one. By delivering on what employees want to see – such as a stress-reducing home workspace and hybrid inclusion – employers can transform their workforce into one that is engaged and feels valued.