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Generation X needs more flexible workspaces

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More than 10,000 flexible workspaces will be needed by 2030 as Generation X adopts the flex model and works for longer

Generation X (People currently aged 40 to 54) is set to account for 50% of the workforce in the next 10 years, according to business real estate provider Instant Group.

The Office of National Statistics reported office-based employment in the UK for the over 65’s has risen from 8.6% to 10.9% over the past 10 years.

Research from Aviva found that 63% of over-50s in work are planning to retire later than they thought they would a decade ago.

If employment growth continues at its current rate Instant forecasted an additional 10,100 flexible offices will be needed across the UK by 2030 to absorb demand from the over 50s alone.

The over 50s currently account for 32% of the total UK earnings and are expected to increase to 40% by 2040.

This would equate to an extra 2% to UK GDP from the earnings of the over 50s in the next 20 years.

Yet Instant Group warned if more flexible workplaces are not created and the over 50s are forced to retire earlier than they plan to, it would lead to an economic burden instead.

John Duckworth, Instant's managing director for the UK and EMEA told HR magazine: "It’s hugely important for employers of multi-generational workforces to ensure that offices work for employees of all ages. But the needs of Generation X and what they expect from their workspace are not that dissimilar to their millennial colleagues."

Duckworth posited that the new workspaces must offer flexible working facilities to allow employees to switch off when needed.

He said: “Employees want spaces that facilitate a good work/life balance so providing spaces for wellbeing is important. As is creating a collaborative environment, offering flexible working facilities and providing a fun and inspiring space to work in."

When procuring and designing office space, Duckworth recommended that HR consider all the needs of the generations within the business.

He added: "Being able to provide a positive and productive environment for all is the key focus for ensuring a happy and motivated workforce, whatever their stage in life.

“Generation X has so much to offer when it comes to experience and expertise that as they choose to remain in work later in life they must feel valued in the workplace. The value of demonstrating that you care about the overall wellbeing of all employees is immense."