Generation Alpha – Discovering the next generation
Generation Alpha – Discovering the next generation
Post written by Paragon Interiors   July 13, 2018

Have you ever considered what the workplace will look like in 2025? Perhaps you have imagined computers that read your mind, Segway’s to get around the office, or maybe even robots that deliver your coffee right to your desk. Whatever you have imagined…I’m sure it looks very different from your current office environment.

The truth is that the world is changing at an exponential rate. Every year we prepare ourselves for the latest advancements in technology. With increased innovation in technology, new generations of people are growing up with access to unlimited information at the touch of a button. One of our latest blogs spoke about how you can prepare for Generation Z entering the workplace. Have you started to prepare for the future world of work?

There has been an increase in the number of conversations around an even younger generation that will enter the workforce in the next 10 years. We have only just started to adjust to the interesting requirements of Gen Z but don’t get too comfortable because the new generation is on the horizon. Mark McCrindle, award winning social researcher and best-selling author, has coined the term Generation ‘Alpha’ or ‘Gen A’. This generation is born from Millennial parents and the oldest of the generation is only 8 years old. Mark states that about 2.5 million Generation Alphas are born every week globally (Sterbenz, 2015).

Predicting the future is impossible, however, it is possible to predict trends that will most likely take place. Paragon Interiors has collated research to better understand what the future office space holds for us and our clients.

Technology

Generation Alpha has interacted with technology all their lives. 2-year-olds can navigate a tablet or cell-phone easier than their grandparents can. What does this mean for the future? 2-year-olds today have the equipment to develop new technological advancements. Lego recently released a product called Lego Boost. Lego Boost allows children to use an app that enables them to programme their Lego pieces to become ‘smart’ robots that move, rotate, and interpret colour, sound, and distance (Mckeown, 2018). Children are learning how to code before the age of 8. Who knows what technological advancements will happen in the next 25 years?

Instant gratification

Social media uses immediate feedback to give us instant gratification. We can only wait a few minutes before one of our followers likes a comment we have made or an image we have posted. As a generation that thrives off social media, Generation Alpha will expect instant gratification for their work too. They live in a very fast paced world with information overload. They want instant gratification for their work, and they want it now! How will this impact performance appraisals or general feedback? All we can say is that to maintain employee’s happiness in the future, you may need to adapt to their preferred feedback methods.

Consumer switch

Generation Alpha already have spending power and are receiving pocket money from their parents. Children under the age of 12 worldwide are reported to be receiving an accumulated 5 trillion rand a year in spending money (Carter, 2016). Many companies are preparing for the entry of this new generation in the marketplace. Google has made efforts to make sure their interface is more visual, and voice operated to take over typing and texting – which has become so last season. Snapchat have already targeted the younger generation by offering them a product catered to a younger demographic, with the same features as Snapchat minus the ability to add or communicate with friends (a safer option before they are old enough to use Snapchat).

Educational preferences

This generation is already making waves on the internet. Millennial parents have created social media profiles for their young ones. Videos of children before school going age are going viral with toddlers becoming internet famous with millions of followers. Asahd Khaled is not even 2 years old but already has 1.9 million follows on Instagram (Theko, 2018). What is the purpose of school if you have already had so much success at such a young age? What will this mean for the future of our education systems? We saw a decrease in the amount of Gen Z’s who are applying for tertiary education and rather opting for online courses in subjects that weren’t offered 10 years ago. How much of this trend will be seen in Generation Alpha? In 50 years’ time will big educational institutes that were once idolised become obsolete?

The buck doesn’t stop at Generation Alpha. Every 15-year generational wave brings on its own challenges. All we can do to combat this change is to remain informed and be open to change in the way we work and our work environment. At Paragon Interiors we understand change is inevitable. We offer Change Management as one of our services to help our clients adjust to their new offices.

Find out more about our change management service here: Change Management or contact us on +27 (11) 706 5123 for more information.

References

Carter, C. M. (2016, December 21). The Complete Guide To Generation Alpha, The Children Of Millennials. Retrieved from Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/christinecarter/2016/12/21/the-complete-guide-to-generation-alpha-the-children-of-millennials/#306b520f3623

Mckeown, S. (2018, April 26). Generation Alpha: How to change the world. Retrieved from Financial Mail: https://www.businesslive.co.za/fm/fm-fox/2018-04-26-generation-alpha-how-to-change-the-world/

Sterbenz, C. (2015, December 5). Here’s who comes after Generation Z — and they’ll be the most transformative age group ever. Retrieved from Business Insider : http://www.businessinsider.com/generation-alpha-2014-7-2?IR=T

Theko, K. (2018). Meet Generation Alpha. Retrieved from Flux Trends : http://www.fluxtrends.com/meet-generation-alpha/