Impacts of Gen Z on the Workplace

Wed, Feb 7th 2024 08:18pm

Impacts of Gen Z on the Workplace

Gen Z is the newest generation to enter the workforce. Born between 1997 and 2012, this up and coming generation is poised to make its mark on the professional landscape, making up approximately 25 percent of the workforce by 2025.  This generation is characterized by digital nativism, progressive values, and a unique approach to work and life balance. The presence of Gen Z in the workplace is already driving significant changes to company culture, expectations of employers, and the way business is conducted.  

Digital Trailblazers
Gen Z has grown up with technology at their fingertips, making them the most tech-savvy generation in history. They have an incredible understanding of digital tools and platforms, which is transforming the way work is done. In fact, their preferred communication tool is social media platforms like X (Twitter), Snapchat, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

A recent survey by Morning Consult found that 54% of Gen Zers report
spending at least four hours daily on social media,
and 38% spend even more time than that.

Gone are the days of email and messaging apps in the office.  Companies are increasingly embracing digital platforms to meet Gen Z’s expectations for seamless, connected, and tech-driven communication and work environments. From remote work and virtual collaboration tools to AI and automation, Gen Z’s comfort with technology is reshaping the modern workplace.

Diversity and Inclusion
Gen Z is known for its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and they demand workplaces and employers that reflect their values of social justice and equality. Organizations are responding by prioritizing diversity and inclusion initiatives, offering training on unconscious bias, and taking steps to create more inclusive cultures in the workplace. Gen Z’s influence is pushing companies to be more socially responsible and accountable for their actions, both internally and externally.

Flexible Work
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the trend toward remote work, and Gen Z has embraced it wholeheartedly. For many their education and early adult development was impacted by the pandemic, and they’ve found a comfortable space through which they can be productive.  They value collaboration in a face-to-face setting and don’t dismiss the importance of in-person office time, but work-life balance and flexibility rule the day, pushing companies to adopt more flexible work arrangements. The traditional office model continues to be diminished by the popularity of remote and hybrid work options, enabling Gen Z employees to work from anywhere, anytime.

Entrepreneurial Spirit
Gen Z exhibits a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Powered by their exposure to self-made social media millionaires, and the power of e-commerce, they are more likely to consider freelance or side hustles, and entrepreneurial endeavors as viable career options.

ZenBusiness, a platform that supports launching your own business,
released a study showing that 75 percent of Gen Zers
ultimately want to become entrepreneurs.

This generation’s entrepreneurial mindset is prompting companies to foster innovation and intrapreneurship within their organizations. By allowing employees to explore their creative and entrepreneurial ideas, companies can harness this energy for their benefit.

Purpose-Driven Work
Gen Z is deeply concerned about social and environmental issues, and they want their work to have a meaningful impact on the world. They seek out employers who are socially responsible and value corporate social responsibility (CSR). Companies are responding by aligning their missions with social and environmental goals and actively engaging in philanthropic activities to attract and retain Gen Z talent.

Collaboration and Teamwork
Gen Z thrives on collaboration and teamwork. They value diverse perspectives and input from their colleagues. This emphasis on teamwork is changing the way companies structure their teams, with a shift towards more cross-functional collaboration.  The shift is also having an impact on office design with community spaces and workstations for small groups becoming more commonplace. Gen Z’s collaborative approach can foster innovation and drive results for companies that can make accommodations.

The entrance of Gen Z into the workplace is reshaping the future of work. Their tech-savvy nature, commitment to diversity and inclusion, preference for remote and flexible work, entrepreneurial spirit, and focus on purpose-driven work and collaboration are catalysts for change. Companies that adapt to these shifts and focus the unique strengths of Gen Z will be better positioned to thrive. Embracing the Gen Z impact means not only attracting the best young talent but also staying competitive and relevant.

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