12 Days of Trends: Demographic Inclusion

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Chair of the Month

Betsy Nurse
Betsy Nurse
Betsy Nurse has 20 years of experience in the interior architecture industry providing comprehensive services from pre-design and programming to full design development, detailing, and construction phase services. Betsy leads the HOK Atlanta Interiors team and oversees all aspects of projects from development through execution and is ultimately responsible for all interior design solutions. She has successfully delivered services for a wide variety of interiors project types, including corporate headquarters, non-profit and institutional clients and is known for her expertise in creating client-centered facilities that support their organizational goals.

We’re counting down to 2020 by sharing 12 days of emerging workplace trends! Learn what trends our top global contributors are most excited to see evolve in the new year. 

Trend 10 of 12: To truly be inclusive, we need to create environments that address the needs of this increasingly diverse workforce.

Demographic Inclusion

A lot of focus has been on the younger generations of late, but the workforce is changing and aging, so space today needs to be designed to be inclusive of all – regardless of their generation, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and physical and mental challenges. We are evolving into a majority of minorities. And to truly be inclusive, we need to create environments that address the needs of this increasingly diverse workforce, including individuals with neuro-development disorders such as anxiety, hypersensitivity, autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

With a new group of recruits (Generation Z) on the horizon, it’s particularly important to design spaces that help people focus and engage with others. Born after 2000, Gen Z is the “always-on” generation—a distinction that may be contributing to increased levels of anxiety, emotional detachment, interpersonal difficulties and loneliness. In a survey of 20,000 U.S. adults, Gen Z respondents reported the highest levels of loneliness—even higher than that of senior citizens. To create inclusive environments, employers should focus on minimizing visual clutter, simplifying navigation, intensifying contrast and providing plenty of light. And it’s important to design simple, comfortable spaces that provide a variety of work zones and create team-based environments that foster community and a sense of belonging. Our environments should reflect the diverse makeup of organizations. By providing options and enabling individuals to adapt their space, employers can create spaces that are more inclusive—and productive—for all.

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