Generation Z imagines its future workplace design, pods and all

Hanging pods, holograms and communal vegetable allotments? That's how the next generation of workers - Generation Z - envisages their ideal workplace of the future, according to a recent study reported on the Workplace Insights website.

Scandinavian furniture brand HÅG recently held a workshop with two groups of university students aged 16-18 - one in London, and one in Oslo - to gather their thoughts on what they think the future workplace will be like. So, what were their predictions?

There were four key themes that emerged during the workshops: technology, health, the environment and innovative workspaces. All of these categories reveal how the participants feel about their future workplace, and the kind of things they would like to see in it.

For example, some hoped that offices would feature desks with interactive tablets that could also turn into beds; while others foresaw hanging pods and virtual reality rooms. Some took the concept of healthy living to the extreme by featuring communal vegetable gardens so that employee could grow their own lunch.

Health and wellbeing emerged as the predominant trend for this demographic. Our personal and working lives are continuing to blur, and this looks set to continue into the next generation of workers; but this younger workforce is more concerned than we are now with taking care of their physical, mental and emotional health while at work - and they expect their employers to care, too.

So whether it's hanging pods for taking an afternoon nap, holograms projecting tranquil vistas onto the walls, or on-site gyms and health centres where staff can even book an appointment with the company doctor, wellbeing is the name of the game for Generation Z.

Jorgen Josefsson, HÅG's managing director, noted that both participant groups "show enthusiasm for good design and appreciate the importance of a good work-life balance."

"It is also clear to see that Generation Z expect their employers to look after their wellbeing by designing spaces that enhance this and provide areas suitable for a variety of different tasks," he added.