Workplaces of the Future: Insights from Our Gen Z/Alpha Intern
Author Workplaces of the Future: Insights from Our Gen Z/Alpha Intern  | 

We recently had the pleasure of hosting an intern here at UnWork, where she immersed herself in the dynamic environment of our management consultancy and research house, focused on the evolving landscape of the workplace. As her internship came to a close, she shared her unique perspective as a member of the ‘Gen Z/Alpha’ cohort, offering insightful reflections on the future of the workforce.

In the following blog post, she delves into the anticipated transformations within the workplace from the viewpoint of Gen Z/Alpha. Her observations highlight the profound impact of technology, remote work trends, mental health considerations, inclusivity, and sustainability on the future office environment. Read on to explore the ‘not-so-distant future’ of work through the lens of a generation that has never known a world without the internet, smart devices, and instant connectivity.

The not-so-distant future of the workplace for Gen Z/Alpha

The generation that has 2 years olds mastering a touchscreen. (Turk, V. 2017) What will the workplace look like when Gen Alpha are here?

The 2020 pandemic forced us out of the office redefined our ‘normal’ and accelerated the adoption of technology in our daily lives. Genzalpha’s have grown up in a world where technology is not just an enhancement, but an essential part of their upbringing and existence.

Unlike previous generations, they have never known a world without the internet, smart devices, and instant connectivity. This relationship with technology shapes their expectations and demands for the workplace, especially in this hybrid era.

Remote working

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be understated. This generation of young people have already adapted to remote working at school and therefore are fluent in teams and other online platforms, which are prevalent in the workplace. Their familiarity with these tools, coupled with hybrid work as the new ‘normal’ suggests that a full return to work in the office does not seem likely.

According to a survey by the Pew Research Centre after the pandemic, only 65% of teens would prefer to go back to school completely in person. (Anderson, M. Faverio, M. McClain, C. 2022) We are already witnessing a shift towards remote and hybrid working. With this trend, the implementation of hot desks is becoming more common as organisations seek to use space more effectively and reduce costs.


When Genzalpha’s enter the workforce, we can expect a large emphasis on technology. This includes not only the availability of laptops, screens and apps, but also the utilisation of AI.

AI is a hot topic in the workplace for many, with ongoing discussions about its potential uses and the measures needed to prevent it. Young generation Z and Alpha have again grown up with AI such as chatGPT and most know how to use it effectively. This creates a scenario where workplaces must either embrace these new technologies or they fall behind and struggle to attract new talent.

Expect the design of workplaces to be different. Organisations will need to maintain ongoing updates to their technology to stay at the forefront of innovation. This includes investing in the best cameras and microphones for remote working, as well as large interactive screens for calls and presentations. New generations will easily be able to utlise these technologies to maximise their productivity.

However, many experts also believe that technology has impaired the social and emotional skills of new generations, preferring Alexa and Siri to real friends. (Jha, A. K. p.6 2020) Could this see a shift towards more focus and individual working rooms instead of collaborative spaces?

Mental health

Although the number of young people diagnosed with mental health problems is much higher, it does not mean that working-aged people are unaffected. The difference lies in acceptance and increased visibility surrounding the subject. This growing awareness is infiltrating the workplace, with teams and group leaders becoming more mindful. As new generations, who have been taught about the importance of mental health, enter the workforce, workplaces will further evolve to support mental health and well-being.

This evolution could include hybrid working arrangements, where people feel more supported at home rather than in the office. Additionally, more wellness rooms could be incorporated into office designs. To aid mental health, offices may look to increase natural light, given research shows that this reduces stress levels. (Douglas, I et al. 2022) According to Slee, A. (2021 p.1) rates of social anxiety are increasing and therefore some employees may find it challenging to come into the office. We could see this reflected in the workplace through a preference for online working environments.


Similarly to mental health, neurodivergence has been diagnosed more in children than adults, thanks to recent research advancements. Due to this, the workplace must evolve to accommodate people’s diverse needs. This involves allowing people to control their environment to ensure focus and prevent over or under-stimulation.

This may manifest in different environments, or areas designed for specific behaviours, such as focus rooms or stimulating areas. Additionally, including design features such as light dimmers, sliding screens and quiet places allow people to self-regulate.

The importance of an inclusive workplace should be emphasised to attract young employees as making your workplace more accessible is essential for a company to provide equal opportunities.


Genzalpha’s are emerging as the demographic most concerned about the environment, likely because they will have to live with the consequences of ruin. In a study by Amnesty International, which surveyed Gen Z and found that 41% of respondents said climate change was one of the most important issues facing the world. (Amnesty International, 2019) As a result, the design and operation of workplaces will be significantly impacted.

Currently, there is a growing emphasis on renewable energy fuelled buildings and the integration of green spaces in the city. For Genzalpha’s, sustainability does not constitute a few desk plants. They will not want to work for a organisation that does not prioritise environmental values, making it essential for businesses to improve their sustainability goals and reduce their office’s energy consumption. Measures can include energy-efficient lights, green rooftops for new buildings and the transformation of brownfield sites into offices.

In summary, this conversation highlights the differences between current and future workplaces: the rapid advancement of technology, including the widespread of tools like AI, which Genzalpha’s are already well-versed in. However, alongside these advancements, concerns about the overuse of screens and its impact on mental health and well-being.

Despite these challenges, there is a growing emphasis on inclusivity and sustainability, which are increasingly being taught in schools. Young people are demonstrating a genuine concern for these issues, pushing for a shift towards organisations prioritising these values to enhance employee well-being and attract young talent. Take it from me, a gen z.



Amnesty International (2019) Climate change ranks highest as vital issue of our time – Generation Z survey. Available at:,and%2031%25%20who%20selected%20terrorism.

Anderson, M. Faverio, M. McClain, C. (2022) How Teens Navigate School During COVID-19. Pew Research Centre. Available at:

Douglas, I et al. (2022) Physical Workplaces and Human Well-Being: A Mixed-Methods Study to Quantify the Effects of Materials, Windows, and Representation on Biobehavioral Outcomes.  Building and Environment, vol. 224, 109516.

Jha, A. K. (2020). Understanding Generation Alpha. Available at:

Slee, A. Nazareth, I. Freemantle, N and Horsfall,N. (2021) Trends in generalised anxiety disorders and symptoms in primary care: UK population-based cohort study. The British Journal of Psychiatry 218, 158–164. Available at: doi: 10.1192/bjp.2020.159

Turk, V. (2017). Understanding Generation Alpha. Hotwire Consulting: UK. Available at: