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Younger Workers Driving Demand for High-Quality Workplaces

Younger Workers Driving Demand for High-Quality Workplaces
09 May 2023

Research from Compass Group shows that younger generations of workers across the UK are demanding workplace change more than any other demographic, and are willing to look at alternative employers if their needs aren’t met.

The survey included insights from 35,000 global workers across 26 countries on their workplace preferences, including employee views on eating at work, sustainability, digital adoption, health, and mental wellbeing. 

Gen Z was revealed as the most vocal working-age demographic advocating for improved non-financial workplace benefits from employers.

Across all age groups, 46 per cent of UK workers say they are scrutinising employee benefits more closely than they used to, peaking at 59 per cent among Gen Z.


"Empowered Gen Z and Millennial workers have made it clear that they want to associate themselves with companies who share their values, provide a safe, comfortable working environment, and support their health and wellbeing. And they are willing to look elsewhere if they feel their needs aren’t being met."

–Morag Freathy

Managing Director, Eurest


Flexible Working Option Most Sought-After Non-Monetary Benefit


Across all age groups, flexible working is considered the most appealing non-monetary benefit that employers can provide, followed by health insurance, discount schemes and having a staff restaurant at work.

65 per cent of Gen Z’s interviewed said an on-site cafeteria would positively influence their decision to join a prospective employer, compared to 46 per cent average across all age demographics, and 29 per cent for Baby Boomers.

All age groups expect food outlets should help them make healthier food and drink choices through the food they serve, peaking at 68 per cent among Millennials.

Younger generations are driving the popularity of meat-free meals in the workplace, with more than half of Gen Z and Millennials happy to eat vegan or vegetarian meals compared to around a third of Baby Boomers.

Morag Freathy, Managing Director of Eurest, one of Compass Group UK & Ireland’s leading brands said: “With Gen Z and Millennials soon to make up the largest proportion of the UK workforce, their influence in the workplace is on the rise. For employers battling higher wage demands, productivity pressures, and retention and recruitment challenges as the war for talent continues, matching workplace initiatives with the preferences and values of these younger demographics is more important than ever.

“Since the pandemic, the lines between workers’ personal and professional values have become increasingly blurred. Empowered Gen Z and Millennial workers have made it clear that they want to associate themselves with companies who share their values, provide a safe, comfortable working environment, and support their health and wellbeing. And they are willing to look elsewhere if they feel their needs aren’t being met.

“Employers today need to use every tool at their disposal to attract, retain and motivate the best talent. As our research has shown, a staff restaurant is one of the most effective ways for employers to show that they care for their staff, while positively influencing employee loyalty and their willingness to speak positively about their employer. Meanwhile, enabling workers to have proper breaks with quality food and drink is shown to give workers a chance to properly reset and recharge, decreasing work-related stress while increasing productivity.”

Picture: a photograph of three people sitting together at a desk, eating lunch. Image Credit: Compass Group

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 09 May 2023


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