For the first time, four generations are working at the same workplace in Sweden. This will probably affect
our workplaces, but perhaps not in the way you might think. This is revealed in a survey that Kinnarps has
commissioned on how different generations view the workplace. The survey was presented on the Tuesday
of the 2016 Stockholm Furniture Fair, and, among other things, revealed that the younger generation feel
that ergonomics is as important for their wellbeing in the workplace as having a high salary.
According to Kinnarps’ survey on how different generations view the workplace, a majority, 58%, have experiencedbodily aches, including joint pains, which can be linked to their current or former workplaces. This doesn’tjust apply to older people; 56% of Millennials (born 1980-2000), 57% of Generation X (1965-1979) and 62% ofBaby Boomers (1946-1964) have experienced problems. Ergonomics is a priority area for all generations, andaccording to the survey, the perfect workplace is characterised by both modern and ergonomic work equipment.Among the younger generation, ergonomics is as important as high pay, which is a surprise to Kinnarps.
- ”It is surprising that young people place such a high value on ergonomics, even for us atKinnarps, where we know how important it is to have the right work furniture. I thought thatergonomics would be ranked lower as many people don’t notice the consequences of inferiorergonomics until they are older. Thinking about this when you are young entails investing inwellbeing for the future, and the results are therefore very positive,” says Elisabeth Slunge,Brand/Range/Design Director at Kinnarps.
The results in the survey consistently show that health and wellbeing are important at all ages, however, thereare results which differentiate the generations. For example, Millennials are more open to new types of offi cesolutions than the other generations, and are also more positive towards dress codes. Generation X is morelikely to work standing up. They are also the group which uses social media for private matters in the workplaceto a somewhat greater extent, and are most interrupted by unnecessary mails. Further, Baby Boomers aremore traditional in that they prefer to have their own offi ce room and peace and quite. According to ElisabethSlunge, for employers to create a satisfactory working environment for their employees it is important thatthey give them options in terms of both workplace and equipment.
- ”Tomorrow’s companies must be fl exible and sensitive in order to be attractive in the labourmarket. Despite different generations having somewhat differing preferences, it hasto be borne in mind that it isn’t just age that matters, but also the fact that what infl uenceswellbeing can vary from person to person and depend on the type of job. Increasing wellbeingrequires a broad defi nition of ergonomics. It is about the whole person feeling good,in both body and soul,” says Elisabeth Slunge, Brand/Range/Design Director at Kinnarps.
Being able to offer different alternatives can thereby be a success factor for companies that want their employeesto thrive. Most generations also feel that it is important to be able to control their working hours (76%), towork when it suits them.
About health and ergonomics:
• Having ergonomic work furniture is as important as high pay for the wellbeing of offi ce workers (79%)
• A majority, 58%, have experienced bodily aches, including joint pains, which can be linked to their currentor former workplaces.
• When Swedes were forced to choose between offi ce furniture that is nice-looking/designed or ergonomic,84% selected the latter.
• 78% feel it is important to have the option of peace and quite or silent work rooms
• 65% vary their working posture, 49% work standing up and 43% say that they take walks outdoors in orderto avoid occupational injuries or strains.