Are you a Xennial?

Do you ever feel like you just don’t fit in? Feel like you just don’t fit the mold? Wonder if there is something else out there that describes you? Well wonder no more! There is a new Generation that most of us never knew about! XENNIALS! Welcome! You may have found your place. Not sure? take this quiz to figure it out! 

I first came across an article on Facebook (yes, I still use Facebook) that introduced me to this new micro-generation. The term, Xennial, is a generational identity describing those who were born in the late 70’s to early 80’s. Sarah Stankorb, a writer and activist, coined the term in 2014. Since then, there has been lots of debate over when the generation starts, but safe to say if you were born between 1978- 1985, you may be a Xennial.

Like many others born in 1981, I too didn’t quite feel like I should be labeled a “millennial” and that’s not because of the sometime negative cogitation of the term. I felt that way because I didn’t necessarily grow up with technology, although the awesome first generation of Apple computers in elementary school was great for playing Oregon Trail! We didn’t have the internet. We are the pre-Facebook generation. Technology wasn’t something that we carried with us 24/7. Many of us entered the workforce at the cusp of the economic downturn and we were old enough to understand the weight of 9/11 on our country.

Did you know by 2020 (yes, only 2 years away! WHAT?!), there will be five, I mean (cough) SIX, generations working side by side in the workplace? How will that affect your workplace? Have you thought about it? All current generations, and whomever comes later, have certain expectations from their employers. It’s not about the free cocoa-poufs in the breakroom anymore. They have grown up a little… it’s more about flex time, day-light views, spaces designed for introverts and extroverts, and creating a workplace that not only functions for productivity but also aligns with its company culture.

Understanding a multi-generational workforce is a hot topic, especially in the commercial design world. As Workplace Consultants, it is the number one topic we discuss with our clients. We get it; not everyone wants to go to work in a “Google-like” environment. Not everyone wants that big corner office as a professional status symbol “look world, I made it!”, as our President, Bob Martin, wrote about in How to Get Employees on Board with a Workplace Redesign blog in 2016.

So if you were like me and never quite felt like you fit the mold of Gen X or Millennial, don’t worry, we now have our very own micro-generation! We work well with others, don’t really care if there is free food in the breakroom, and don’t think we made it because we have a corner office. We are no better or worse than the other generations and with so many generations in the workplace, and a bigger mix coming soon, have you thought about how this will affect your workplace? How will you attract and retain the best talent? By designing your workplace with people in mind, you can create an attractive space for everyone. We are here to help you get started! Call us.