Collaboration often leads in innovation. If we want digital transformation to prosper in construction, then we need all the generations to come together to identify how to make that happen. The industry also needs knowledge sharing about the tools of the trade, so to speak.
This is why my interest was piqued when a new survey crossed by desk. CraftJack recently conducted a survey to uncover which generation is the handiest. The company surveyed 1,000 people across four generations: Gen Z (18-25), Millennials (26-41), Gen X (42-57), and Baby Boomers (58-76) to see which generation is the “handiest” when it comes to fixing things around the house.
Here’s what the survey showed. Roughly 61% of Baby Boomers consider themselves handy, while 66% of Gen X and 57% of Millennials declare the same. Only 44% of Gen Z can say the same and of this particular generation roughly 67% say they tried to fix something but ended up making it worse.
Gen Z readily admits it: They are not very handy at all. Gen Z was the only generation to consider duct tape as one of the top five most important tools. (Not to be confused with duct tape, by any means, I’m sure). Meanwhile, Baby Boomers think a wrench is vital. Millennials and Gen X both agree that everyone should have a tape measure.
So, then, the question remains. Which generation is most likely to look up online how to fix things? Surprisingly, or perhaps not so surprisingly, the answer is Millennials, although not by much. Some 96% of Millennials; 95% of Gen Z and Gen X; and 91% of Baby Boomers answered in the affirmative for this question.
Out of all the generations in this particular survey, Millennials are the most likely to try to fix something on their own and only one in 10 Baby Boomers will call a professional for help instead of reaching out to family members.
I have a few takeaways after reading the results of this survey. First, the construction industry might be in trouble in terms of finding skilled labor among younger generations. The labor pool is shrinking and interest in construction is waning very fast. The construction industry needs to work together to figure out how to innovate now, to keep projects humming along.
My second takeaway is the younger generations are more willing to outsource work to professionals. Enter SIs (systems integrators and other service professionals). Gen Z is willing to tackle simple tasks like assembling furniture and fixing a running toilet, but anything beyond those tasks, they are looking for integrated solutions. They are seeking solutions that provide more energy efficiencies and connectedness throughout their lives. Millennials and Gen X are more willing to try simple electrical work like installing light fixtures and replacing switches. Gen X is also the first generation to say they’d hire out an at-home project because they have more money to do so.
Meanwhile, Baby Boomers appear to be the most knowledgeable of all generations. However, since the generation is aging, those surveyed said they’re just not physically able to do the work they used to, and now need extra help.
Some home tech is becoming simpler to install, but I am wondering if some these generations will be willing to do it. That begs the question: will the makers of technology focus on convenience, comfort, and energy-saving solutions to address the needs of these generations based on an agnostic protocol? Could this open the door for more services in the home? Will SIs become more common on home projects?
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