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Haines Watts London Holborn Phone icon 0207 025 4650

The modern workplace is almost unrecognisable from what it was even five or ten years ago, and it’s changing and evolving at a pace which some find alarming.

If you’ve been wondering how to adapt to the changing workplace over the coming years, Matt Perry, Managing Partner at Haines Watts London, has a few things you need to consider.


The generational divide

Many offices nowadays have up to four generations working together under one roof. But within the next decade or so, that could stretch to five generations as the retirement age steadily climbs. Older workers, millennials and members of generation Z will be working in close proximity, and that can lead to a clash of work styles.

Currently, most millennials see a job as something they can gain experience and knowledge from, then move onto the next thing after a few years. Baby Boomers on the other hand tend to enjoy a more structured ‘career-based’ approach. As a business owner, the challenge is making sure there are systems in place to ensure such mixed teams can work harmoniously.


More flexible workspace

In addition to permanent desks, more offices will need to embrace the growing trend for ‘hot-desking’. Younger workers prefer flexible working spaces, which allow them to move around from project to project, often working with different members of the wider team as they juggle various ongoing assignments.

Versatile office space, which suits both younger and older workers, will be essential in the coming years.


Flexible working hours

Similarly, there’s growing demand for more flexible working arrangements which will fit in around our busy modern lifestyles. Workers are now looking for flexi-time, which could mean working from home for part of the week or being allowed to come in earlier so they can leave earlier.

The standard 9-5 is quickly becoming rejected and replaced. It’s time to adapt and take on board the preferences of your staff.


Offer training

One of the best things any workplace can do for their staff is to offer training. Whether it’s vocational, skill based or a training course on creating a greater understanding of company culture; staff will almost always benefit from taking part. Training increases staff morale and motivation, along with making them feel more valued as a member of the company.

It’s also a great way to soften the generational differences by creating greater cohesion between each demographic.


Greater transparency

The younger members of the workforce demand greater transparency from their employers. This spans everything from equal pay to what their company is doing about corporate social responsibility.

Business owners need to learn to embrace this more open attitude and try to ensure no subjects are off-limits. This culture can be difficult to implement within senior management, so it’s important to implement these kind of changes in a way that allows for flexibility.


Ultimately, it is an extremely difficult task to cater for everyone in a different way. As a modern day business owner – it’s about balancing the value you get from happier staff with the understanding that you can’t please everyone all of the time.


Haines Watts are London Accountants & Business Advisors based in Holborn.

Want to know more? Call us on 0207 025 4650 or email

About the author

Matt Perry

Matt's focus is on helping owners and their management teams on all aspects of structure, strategy, growth and the potential realisation of value from their businesses.

He has particular expertise in supporting owners who are running businesses that are rapidly increasing in complexity. He works closely with these owners to scale their operations, address management and leadership issues and obtain funding for investment and growth.

Matt brings a keen understanding of the broader commercial issues that impact growing business, including governance, risk, succession and protecting personal wealth.


I enjoy becoming an integral part of a business’s journey and draw on my own experience in managing a fast growing company. There are so many angles to consider when a business starts to scale up. There’s nothing better for me than setting some long term goals with a business owner, supporting them through that growth and ultimately seeing them achieve their ambitions.

If I wasn't doing this I'd be: selling.

Favourite Sports Team: Arsenal.

Dream Location: Sicily.

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