Generation Z: what do we want from our future workplace?
Updated: Mar 26
I am a part of Generation Z and I truly believe that my generation will make a great influence in the workplace. Generation Z is a word which I have been hearing quite a lot for the past few months. So what is it? Generation Z, Gen Z or iGen are referred to those people who were born after the year 1996. They are known to have evolved with technology. Social media is the biggest influencer in their life right now, from catching up with the latest news, ordering things online to just calling up a friend who lives on the some other continent. I came across a blog post on Z lab by Ms Co, and I totally agree with that and would want to further share my thoughts about it. The eldest generation z is now 23, that means we are ready to start working but according to studies I have come across the fact that employers are reluctant to hire us but why?
The Early Gen Z
I can proudly say that I am a Gen Z but I am even prouder to say that I was born when technology was just booming. I got my first phone which was a Nokia touch at the age of 13 whereas my sister (born in 2003) got her first phone when she was just 8 years old and my cousin (born in 2010) has been in direct contact with an iPad since the day she was born.
At that time, I was jealous but looking back now, I am glad that I didn’t come across a mobile phone before I turned a teenager. My friends and I used to have a definite time each day to play downstairs, when we were in middle school but now the kids just ‘hang out’ and click selfies. Every child you see nowadays has a phone, everyone has an instagram account. Everyone is so concerned about the way they look when they go out because at the end of the night, it is all about the stories or the posts online. Do you know what or who is the biggest competitor of Netflix? It is not YouTube, television nor Amazon Prime. It is actually Sleep! Netflix’s only concern is whether the individual will choose sleep over another episode?! I recently found out that from one of the Digital Z Lab Workshop held in my school.
Expectations of Gen Z
I understand that employers or our teachers think that we are lazy, we have a short attention span and are completely self-obsessed but that doesn’t imply that we are not motivated to give our best in our work. Compared to the millennials, our choices of where to study or work are not influenced by our parents, of course, they play a major role in it but we have the ultimate say. We also have an entrepreneurial side to us than the Millennials.
I have been told that our attention span is just between 8 – 10 seconds, and yes I can assure you that it is true. I am a proud day dreamer but that doesn’t mean I day dream all the time. It is just my hideaway place when I am extremely bored. We are most likely to be good researchers, have a high knowledge of technology and are extremely social. We are a generation that wants an equal work-life balance and personally, I think it is the best. According to a survey, 28% of young employees are regularly tired of work and 63% of them call in sick or make an excuse to skip work.
The top criteria for choosing a workplace for Generation Z are interesting work, future growth, flexibility, benefits and good team. Even though 83% of Gen Z is not yet employed and 45% of them have at least worked part time, we are very motivated and eager for our future. My generation is up to date about with every news around the world; we have seen and heard about economic crisis and animals getting endangered. We are a generation that actually cares about sustainability as there might not be much left when we have children or grandchildren. We want to be independent and be in charge of our own lives. We are the first to comment on an issue online and take action against. We laugh at memes all day but also make sure an issue is well known about through all our social media apps. We don’t really care about the pay we might get as long as the working environment is nice and we get to express ourselves through our work and be recognized for it.
60% of Generation Z wants a feedback every two to three weeks from their supervisors or managers. In a world where everything is a competition, we want to know if we are doing good or how we can improve ourselves.
Coming from a country which is diverse in cultural and religion, I wanted to meet other people from different countries and thus I chose to study abroad, 63% of young millennials prefer working with colleagues having different ethnicity and origin, 69% of them have said that they would stay with the same employer for more than five years if in an diverse working environment and 29% of them has said that they would quite the job if not provided with a diverse environment.
The Final Word
We have the skill to digest big information and convert it into useful information. We have access to all the information in the world and know how to utilize it well. With the constant contact of media, we work extremely well with technology and are very eager to teach other generation too. We are practically known for our multi-tasking skills. Through globalization, future potential employees can be found all across the globe through various websites. Generation Z has great deal of prospects and can add significance to your organization. Under the right environment and with the right people we can perform to our level best. A world where everything is dynamically changing, your company could attract, build and retain a beautiful team with a detailed recruitment process, a good leadership style and a pleasing working environment. As for me, I can’t wait to graduate and start working even though I am scared of letting go of my Hotel Institute Montreux’s bubble.
I would love to know your thoughts about my blog or your opinions about Generation Z in the workplace. Please do leave a comment!
Author: Ankita Talapatra, Hospitality Bachelor Student at Hotel Institute Montreux (HIM), from India.