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Getting to grips with Generation Y

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The latest generation to enter the workplace – Generation Y – has different aspirations and needs from previous generations. And companies that want to attract and keep the best skills are having to find out how to keep them happy. 

Johnson Controls, a global company that brings ingenuity to the places where people live, work and travel, has launched a research project called OXYGENZ – a global survey of Generation Y (18-25 year-olds) to understand their preferences for their future workplace.
The survey was developed by the company's Global Workplace Solutions business in partnership with Haworth, a global leader in the design and manufacture of adaptable workspaces.
OXYGENZ will investigate how, where and when young people wish to work. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, this new knowledge will inform businesses about the workplace attributes essential in the recruitment and retention of young people.  
It is sponsored and supported by leading global corporations including the BBC, BP and Cisco, looking to understand young people's choices on a global scale.
At http://www.oxygenz.com/, students and young workers can participate in an interactive online survey, building a profile of their ideal workplace which they can share with friends and other survey respondents around the world.
Guy Holden, vice-president and GM of Johnson Controls Global WorkPlace Solutions, comments: "For the first time ever, four generations are working side by side. As the baby boomers of the 1950s start to retire, businesses are facing a fundamental shortfall in talent.
"Providing a stimulating working environment is going to be a key factor in the war for future talent.
"The OXYGENZ survey is one of the biggest research projects our innovation team has undertaken and it is also one of the most exciting. The knowledge gained from the survey will play an important role in helping us advise our clients on preparing their workplaces to attract Generation Y and support their long-term business success, as well as furthering our vision to create a more comfortable, safe and sustainable world."
Kate North, global director of Ideation for Haworth, comments: "We are delighted to be a research partner with Johnson Controls on this global study and intrigued with the possible design and cultural implications.
'This research will provide Haworth and our client's meaningful insights as they begin to leverage the workplace as a competitive and strategic recruitment tool, especially when aligned with technology and sustainability initiatives.
"Generational research cannot be ignored for effective business planning. The global reach of this research project, and the involvement of international partners, will guarantee new knowledge."
To disseminate the survey throughout the world, Johnson Controls has linked up with the University of Central London in the UK, Cornell University in the US, Thammasat University in Thailand, University Paris La Vilette in France, The Hague University in The Netherlands, Welingkar Institute of Management  Development & Research in Mumbai India and Fraunhofer University in Germany.
Johnson Controls and Haworth are also developing links with other institutions to promote OXYGENZ across all continents.
Creator of the survey, Dr Marie Puybaraud, Director of Global WorkPlace Innovation at Johnson Controls, comments: "This is the type of ingenious research that pushes our boundaries of understanding when it comes to how young people view the workplace and the role it plays in their employment choices.
"The findings will tell us the emphasis that Generation Y puts on the workplace, its design, smart environments and technologies they would prefer to use, the facilities they want on site, as well as their views on environmental issues.
"By undertaking this survey globally, we will gain a unique insight into the preferences of Generation Y, how they differ across continents and how these perspectives change and develop over time."