The ‘Kinko’s Generation’: Working Anywhere and Everywhere

September 30, 2015 Jeff Ford

Harken back to childhood and try to picture your first house, the one you grew up in. You might remember a first birthday party, or your parents cooking your favorite meal. That house despite it being an otherwise unremarkable collection of drywall and old wood paneling is deeply associated with very specific emotions and memories. Subtly in their minds, American employees are forming the exact same emotional connections with their workspaces. Modern employees are “using space to compartmentalize their lives,” and in order for them to reach their full potential we must provide as many novel work experiences for them as possible.

Employee engagement and teleworking

In 2013, the good folks at the American Time Use Survey asked people a simple question – how and where do you spend your time? Each day we spend 8.7 hours at work, 8.8 hours asleep and the next highest response was sports and leisure combining for a measly 2.5 hours. Our lives are dominated by two spaces. The key to engagement and peak productivity is finding creative ways incorporate novel and communal spaces to the average workday.

The Perks team at Heifer.orgA third place in the life of today’s employees appears in many different ways: working from a coffee shop, taking company field trips, or attending trade shows. Nicknamed the ‘Kinko’s Generation,’ a whopping 30 million employees reported working from somewhere other than their desk, home or office building.

As much as some of us love our homes and offices, they can become monotonous over time. Third spaces, where social interaction and novel experiences tend to take place are how we prefer to define “who we are and what we do.” A workplace containing opportunities to work in different settings is especially important to highly educated members of today’s creative class representing today’s top scientist, engineers, writers, and programmers.

google bikeGoogle is an excellent (albeit over the top) example of a company that understands the importance of working in a wide variety of settings. Strolling across their campus you might encounter their on-site bowling alleys, giant spherical lounge chairs, or even their bike share. Companies without Google’s billion dollar revenue stream cannot begin construction of an onsite multiplex anytime soon, but the underlying philosophy is important for CEOs, managers, and employees to understand. Variety is the spice of life, and to attract and retain terrific employees employers should be advised to create ways for their employees to extend beyond their offices on occasion. Despite popular belief, data demonstrates that movement outside the office supports productivity.

During the adoption phase of the buyer’s journey, consumers turn to their ‘gut’ or rely on the way they feel about a product or a sales team. Employees aren’t profoundly different in their thinking about employers – so think about the physical spaces your employees are working in, it matters more than you might think.

Check out our other resources!


About the Author

Jeff Ford

Jeff Ford is a co-founder of Perks and was the original architect of Perk’s SaaS incentive solution. Since the inception of the company, he has spearheaded the direction of everything from IT to Operations to Finance. He is passionate about technology and how the web has truly changed how we work and motivate our employees, partners and customers. Jeff’s background, prior to Perks, was spent as a solution architect, web developer and as a controller in the distribution and logistics industry. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting, from the University of Central Arkansas. He brings his dog Xee to work every day and considers himself lucky and proud to be a part of such a great team.

More Content by Jeff Ford
Previous Article
The Architect and the Builder: Learning to Collaborate
The Architect and the Builder: Learning to Collaborate

There isn’t a rulebook on how to collaborate, however, understanding what the pain points are and why they’...

Next Article
Channel Incentives and Channel Loyalty, an Ever Changing Ecosystem
Channel Incentives and Channel Loyalty, an Ever Changing Ecosystem

Channel incentives & channel loyalty requires continually adapting new business models and reassessing the ...


First Name
Last Name
Perks WW is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy, and we’ll only use your personal information to administer your account and to provide the products and services you requested from us. From time to time, we would like to contact you about our services, as well as other content that may be of interest to you. If you consent to us contacting you for this purpose, please tick below.
Yes, I consent.
Thank you!
Error - something went wrong!