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As a new generation enters the workforce, technology continues to expand our capabilities while employees look for a more human-centric experience. Given these drivers for change, the workplace will look a lot different in the turn of the decade. At Irvine Company, we’re taking an in-depth look at this year’s trends, how they came to be, how they might shape our future and how we look to incorporate them into our own customers’ experience.

Enter Generation Z 

This year, Generation Z will make their grand debut into the already multigenerational workplace. This age group, comprised of individuals born after 1997, represents 61 million people in the U.S. Gen Z is a tribe of digital natives; having grown up on smartphones and the Internet, technology in the workplace is a must for them. 

Gen Z will also disrupt previous patterns related to their time spent in any one position. While the Millennials who preceded them are renowned “job-hoppers,” Gen Z will enter the professional sphere looking for “future-proof” jobs. Too young to have personally experienced post-9/11 America, Gen Z is most influenced by having witnessed their parents struggle during The Great Recession. As a result, they possess a fierce competitive spirit, with the majority of Gen Z ranking personal success as their highest motivator.

This generation’s drive will call for increased speed and communication, placing focus on providing feedback, opportunities for education and growth and promotional opportunities. They also value flexibility, diversity and active political engagement.

Increased AI/Automation

The presence of AI will continue to push the envelope of workplace automation. There is growing consensus that AI and machine learning bridge gap skills, facilitate faster decisions, improve operational efficiency and reduce costs. AI allows future-focused businesses to optimize the talents and experience of staff by streamlining repetitive, mundane tasks to enable employees to focus on creative, more varied functions. As AI takes on administrative tasks, managers have the bandwidth to spend their time on important initiatives and employee development that involve soft skills.

Emphasis on Employee Experience

Forbes put it best when, in a recent article, they wrote, “Organizations have always assumed that they can create a place where they assumed people needed to work there and are now realizing that they must create a place where people want to work there.” In a world of increasing options, power has shifted into giving modern employees the ability to prioritize a workplace that focuses on employee wellness and allows for work/life balance. 

Although still a component, salary is no longer the main motivating factor — a better employee experience is the most competitive advantage a company can have to retain top talent. Added emphasis on this experience means increasing focus on employee convenience, connectivity, functionality, inspiration and empowerment — and balance can be found by providing flexible schedules and on-site amenities. 

Irvine Company continues to create human-centric solutions that enable our customers to better their workplace experience, and better that of their employees. Through constant reinvestment, whether that be in our on-site amenity offerings such as dining, fitness and lounge areas, or in tech-forward workplace solutions like state-of-the-art conference centers and more, we continue to anticipate coming trends and adapt.

Ongoing social, economic, and environmental shifts will continue to shape our understanding of workplace experience, giving us at Irvine Company continued opportunity to seek insightful, relevant approaches to wellness, sustainability, creativity and more.

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