- Generation Z: Born between 2001 and 2020
- Millennials: Born between 1981 and 2000
- Generation X: Born 1965-1980
- Baby Boomers: Born between 1946 and 1964
- The Silent Generation: Born between 1925 and 1945
As employees around the world grapple with the evolution of the modern workplace post-pandemic, Gen Z is at the beginning of a stronger entry into the workforce. As this generation of workers enters the workforce, baby boomers are adapting to new work environments near the peak of their careers.
Since every employee has a different living situation, work style and preferences, there is no one-size-fits-all return-to-office policy that works for everyone. Different employees work better in different environments.
However, even if employees of different generations work together in the same office, there will be a serious generation gap in communication. How can we ensure that they can collaborate effectively in different locations?
According to the Joblist survey,Millennials and Gen Z generally feel more productive at home, while Baby Boomers and Gen X feel more productive at the office.Gen X and Baby Boomers are more willing to meet their teams in person than Millennials and Gen Z.
Generation is just one of the attributes of employees. Even if they are in the same era, each person will have different needs due to different scenarios, so that they have different choices about whether to work from home or return to the office. Some employees will want to come to the office for team brainstorming, but others will come to take advantage of the private areas of your office for deep work. Some people will feel like they're not getting much done in the office because they're chatting with colleagues all day, but others will thrive on the energy of the office and feel more productive than at home.
In summary, the most common reason for everyone to return to the office is "team culture", followed by "collaboration" and "internal meetings".
Collaboration and internal meetings are really, really important.Switching between Slack, text messages, phone calls, Zoom, Teams, Google Hangouts, and email (and maybe the occasional face-to-face conversation) is confusing enough. Assigning an entire generation to a preferred mode of communication, rather than understanding that, like all things, styles do vary from person to person, is not doing ourselves any favors. Without this nuance, misunderstandings run rampant.
Sometimes, young people communicate their thoughts and problems with each other often through text messages. However, the older person will not respond, and the younger colleagues feel disrespected, thinking it is because the older colleagues are not enthusiastic. The reluctance to participate, it turns out, stems from older colleagues reserving their evenings for private or family time, and feeling that text is not the right way to communicate at work.
This is not about forcing the other person to adapt or choose a unified communication method, but for both parties to figure out: Can you help me understand why you are not replying to those text messages, or why you choose text messages instead of emails? What are our team norms? What is our goal? How do we achieve it together? What makes the most sense for the way we work together and the ways we can agree?
There is no better way to have this kind of frank communication to clear up misunderstandings than to talk face to face. But because the mixed office may cause everyone to be not in the same place, then you can choose advanced conference tools at this time, such as the panoramic conference machine Kandao Meeting Pro. This advanced meeting tool allows the team to see all the participants in the meeting, and AI can track the speaker, so that everyone can have the feeling of face-to-face communication, effectively eliminating misunderstandings caused by the lack of information in text or voice communication.
Outdated conferencing technology is one of the biggest challenges hybrid teams face. Poor connections, video lag, audio interruptions, and less-than-ideal interfaces can increase interruptions and reduce meeting productivity. A typical hybrid meeting setup also means that people in the office are likely to prioritize their ideas as they are better seen and heard by everyone in the meeting.
Kandao Meeting Pro can guarantee that every participant will be seen and heard. Even if you don't speak, through the lock function, the other party can still see your expression and reaction, and try to ensure the transmission of silent information.
As an employer, understanding how different employees work is critical when navigating this new era of work. There’s no question we’re moving towards a more remote-friendly future — but before implementing any major changes, it’s important to remember that employees of different ages may have different hybrid office experiences. The more you understand why and how technology is evolving, the easier it is to take the most effective and sustainable steps.