October 4, 2018

Global creative workspace provider, Spaces, has busted the myth that flexible working and co-working is a new millennial craze, with new research showing that 44% of people born between 1965 and 1980 work remotely for more than half the week, in comparison to a lower 38% of those born after 1980.

The digital age has enabled people of all ages to work remotely more than ever before, which has in turn fuelled demand for flexible workspace. However, the latest figures from Spaces show that even digitally native consumers crave personal communications. For people born after 1980, 72% believe flexible workspaces help offer companies new business and project opportunities, compared to a lesser 64% of those born between 1965 and 1980.

Spaces specialises in creating collaborative cultures and workspaces that bring people together. The Dutch company is celebrating its tenth birthday this year, having opened Spaces City Hall—the first Spaces location in Asia Pacific outside its European roots. It has now over 120 locations across 39 countries worldwide, including recent additions in Hong Kong, London, New York and Paris amongst others.

“As attitudes to workplaces continue to change, it is more important than ever to understand the expectations of all employees to create a thriving culture,” says Spaces founder and CEO, Martijn Roordink.

A multi-generational workforce appreciates different aspects of a flexible workspace. Findings show that the generation born pre-1980 prioritise the productivity benefits, whereas those post-1980 prefer the creative aspects.

The findings suggest that:

  • Generations born after 1980 are more concerned (75%) about being in an inspiring work environment than those born between 1965 and 1980 (59%)
  • 85% of people born after 1980 think that remote working locations offer a more creative environment than the regular office, compared to an average of 64% from those born between 1965 and 1980
  • In addition, 61% of people born after 1980 think that being a flexible working approach allows for more creativity, while 83% of those born between 1965 and 1980 think that it allows for more productivity

Further analysis on what inspires productivity in the working environment has revealed that:

  • Generations born after 1980 feel more strongly (24%) that having refreshments in the office is conducive to a productive working environment, compared to those born between 1965 and 1980 (17%)

Business leaders increasingly see a flexible workspace strategy as a means of becoming a good employer:

  • 74% of people born post-1980 think that companies choose flexible working because it helps to motivate workers, which is an 8% increase compared to those born pre-1980
  • 72% of employees born after 1980 believe that flexible working helps companies to recruit and retain top talent, compared with 63% of those born pre-1980

Martijn Roordink, founder of Spaces, adds: “Creativity and collaboration can breathe new life into a company and empower employees of all ages. Sharing new ideas and knowledge across generations, as well as across functional or team silos, both informally and formally via activities such as reverse mentoring, lets others see things from a different perspective and sparks new ideas.

“Different generations may view some aspects of the office differently. No-one is right or wrong in these situations – but smart employers will find a way to ensure that all generations can contribute their best ideas for the benefit of the company and its creators alike.”