With the oldest millennials now in their late 30s, the younger generation is taking over the workforce: The Generation Z. Gen Z refers to the generation born between 1996 – 2010. Having grown up using the internet and social media, this generation is rather different from the previous!
By 2020, Gen Z will make up 40% of consumers, today’s society hinges on a consumerist culture that devours products and services of all types. Gen Z stands at the forefront of this mass of hungry buyers. By 2021, they will make a 5th of all workers. It is by far the most populous generation. They are said to be the most hard-working generation ever, with much more determination and drive than the Millennials.
Gen Z is a multi-ethnic, gender-fluid generation with some significant behaviours that differentiate them from Millennials. Gen Z has grown up in an era defined by the proximity and extreme connectedness of social media. They embrace diversity and expect businesses to do the same.
‘Gen Z will change the world’, this may be a bold statement, but with these money-saving entrepreneurs, there is no denying it. However, will it be for the better or the worse?
How are the Gen Z different?
Workplaces will need to adapt to the change from the Generation X to Millennials, and finally to the Generation Z, but why are they different and how should you respond to this?
Having been brought up in a world of Facebook and Instagram, many Gen Zer’s are tech savvy and don’t remember life before the internet – they probably don’t even believe a non-tech world actually existed! They are way more dependent on their mobile devices then the millennials are – and to no surprise at all, 98% of the Gen Z generation own a smartphone!
TV, radio and magazines are now things of the past, replaced by smartphones and social media, like Instagram and YouTube. With more people on their smartphones than watching TV and almost everyone having a social media account, there has been the rise of influencer and digital marketing. Many brands now advertise via social media as this is provides the best results. There is no sign of this stopping either, with 92% of Gen Zers having a digital footprint and over 50% are connected online for over 10 hours a day!
When it comes to working, they much prefer to do it digitally! No more pen and paper, it’s now all done on laptops or tablets. A significant portion of Gen Z’s day to day activities and work is based around technology. Companies need to ensure they are up to date with relevant tech trends otherwise the Gen Z may not be interested, after all, this is the first generation of true digital natives!
When it comes to work hours, Generation Z is challenging the traditional ‘9 to 5’ schedule. Sitting in an office for 8 hours with only a short break is not what the future of working looks like. With the advances of technology and the ability to work wherever, whenever, flexible working is appealing to almost all of the younger generation.
There has been a large increase in the demand for remote working, freelance roles and temporary roles. With 74% of managers having team members who work a significant portion of their time remotely, it is already a popular working style.
When it comes to preparing for this increase in flexibility, companies need to ensure they can adapt to this change and offer some form of flexible working. Whether that be working from home or not the typical ‘9 to 5’ hours, it’s a major factor for Gen Z’s when applying for jobs.
The Generation Z has grown up in a world different than ever before and they have already experienced more than they may even realise. With frequent acts of terrorisms and economic uncertainty, such as the financial crisis in 2008, a lot has occurred in the last 15 years. Many Gen Zer’s saw their parents lose money, jobs and savings. They know what happens when a crisis occurs, and luckily they know what to do about it.
The Gen Z generation are focused on creating job security, and are sometimes referred to as ‘Generation Sensible’. They are driven and constantly looking to expand their skills and climb the job ladder. Having watched people be affected by financial disasters, they are all about saving money for the future – 57% said they would rather save money then spend it immediately!
- Entrepreneurial mindset
They are known to be the entrepreneurial generation – with a staggering 62% wanting to start their own companies! The Generation Z want a challenge, they like to be innovative, solve problems and push themselves harder. They are constantly opening new opportunities for themselves. They have become accustomed to instant gratification. Instant demand can shape the habits of the world by further encouraging businesses to act quickly and publicise their newest products as soon as consumers tire of the old ones.
43% now study at University! With the tuition fee for University now reaching over £9,000 a year, and the average graduate wage being just under £23,000, it’s not surprising they’re wanting to start making their own money ASAP!
- Workplace benefits
Not that long ago, the main motivator for work was salary, however that is now no longer the case. Inevitably, salary is a factor when it comes to accepting a job offer, but it is not always the deal breaker. The Generation Z are now more interested in the work place environment, work culture, the opportunities for progression and as previously stated, the flexi-hours.
Generation Z graduates have only started entering the workplace in the last couple of years, so companies need to think fast about adapting these changes and including the benefits that they require. It’s important that employer’s offer these benefits to ensure they attract and retain the very best talent!
So, there we have it, the workforce is about to change, and we have the Generation Z to blame (or praise) for that! With changes in the working hours, workplace benefits and technology, there is a lot to prepare for!
Are you an EA, PA, or business support professional looking to take your career to the next level? Executive Partnerships can help. We’re a specialist recruitment agency working with leading companies and organisations to connect them with talented staff. Learn more at www.executivepartnerships.co.uk.