The newest generation, Generation Z has started to enter the workforce. Born between 1995 and 2002, their hyper-connected and high-tech upbringing will bring a new set of behaviours, expectations and preferences. Thus, will change the face of the workforce in the future.
By 2021, they will be making up one-fifth of the labour force bringing different aspirations and expectations from their Millennial counterparts. Smartphones and social media characterise the group known as generation Z. They value on-demand and authentic behaviour and information because unlike their millennial counterparts who grew up with optimistic Baby Boomers, they were raised by Generation X parents who endured the recession and a downturn in their net worth.
Millennials are said to be teamwork and collaborative oriented although, Gen Z are happier working alone than as part of a group. They would also prefer to manage their own projects so that their abilities and skills can shine through., they do not want to depend on other people to do their work.
They desire more structure and order than their Millennial predecessors who value a looser and more open workspace that allowed them to work in teams where inclusion is a priority, and everyone works together towards the same goals.
Pushpa Gowda, the Global Technology Engagement Director for JLL says, “The ideal work environment for them is a mixture of collaborative and support services”.
In the future employers will have to find a way to create various work configurations and a workspace in which employees can have their privacy and space to work with each other.
Working for a company that has a purpose and a socially beneficial cause is important for Millennials, however, this generation is more motivated by security and money than others before. Because they witness their parents struggle to keep or find work and grew up during the Great Recession, their demands will be higher than their counterparts in other generations. Therefore, a significant part of their lives is the need for a predictable and stable income.
To recruit this new generation, companies will have to be able to tempt Gen Z with promises of job security and raises. As well as this, they must be able to offer this generation a position where they have an impact on the way the company works.
Embracing New Technologies
In their work, Millennials have been easily distracted, by switching between texts and emails. Because Gen Z have lived in a connected world and do not remember a time where there was no internet, they are used to constant updates from dozens of different apps.
They will be more spread out by working from different locations, travelling more for their jobs and staying connected 24/7. Internal communication opportunities will go beyond intranet and Facebook and will include apps like Snapchat and Facetime.
The future will include virtual reality, wearable and robotics. These new methods will have the potential to change workplace practice in a wide variety of industries. (Have a look on our article about how artificial intelligence will have an impact in the workplace).
The need to incorporate social and digital technologies increases as the demographics change within the workforce. Although it has started with Millennials, an inevitable fact is that as Gen Z enter the workplace managers will need to meet the needs of the digital native generation by providing them with the appropriate technologies they would need to work.
Millennials have reshaped the modern workplace, but their younger co-workers are set to reshape it again. The group’s common traits which include curiosity, drive, ambition, self-motivation, do-it-yourself learning and practicality have come from being witnesses of the Great Recession. They know first-hand what it is like to struggle and want stability to avoid that.