How Gen Z sees the workplace

Move over, millennials. There’s a new generation in town, and it’s got a different view of working life.

Douglas Coupland famously branded the post-Baby-Boomers as Generation X. Generation Y followed; also called millennials because they entered the workforce at the turn of the century, they were notable for the expectations they had of the workplace because of their lifelong exposure to high technology.

The logical successor is Generation Z, and staffing firm Robert Half has teamed with Enactus–a non-profit collection of students, academics and business leaders–to take the pulse of the new generation of workers. The study brands them the Reality Check generation, and its expectations and aspirations are tempered by uncertain economic conditions; they’re more pragmatic than previous generations. And by the year 2020, they’ll make up one-fifth of the workforce.

For example, a vast majority–77 per cent–believe they will have to work harder to have a satisfying and fulfilling life than previous generations. Balancing work and life obligations was the primary concern of Gen Zs interviewed (28 per cent) along with making enough money (28 per cent), with job stability not far behind (23 per cent).

Interestingly, the Reality Check generation, though they’re even more digitally native than Gen Y, don’t seem to be placing much of a premium on the technological environment of the workplace.

Face-to-face interaction with colleagues is vastly preferred as the method of communications of choice (74 per cent), with texting and e-mail trailing far behind. An Gen Z seems to be more gregarious, ditching solo remote work–only seven per cent said they’d prefer working virtually offsite. Gen Z’s preferred work environment is collaboration within a small group (64 per cent).

The mean pay expected for Reality Checkers’ first post-college job is $46,799, but 30 per cent said they’d take a 10 to 20 per cent pay cut to work for a cause they believed in.

The guide to hiring and retaining the new generation of workers can be downloaded from Robert Half.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Dave Webb
Dave Webb
Dave Webb is a technology journalist with more than 15 years' experience. He has edited numerous technology publications including Network World Canada, ComputerWorld Canada, Computing Canada and eBusiness Journal. He now runs content development shop Dweeb Media.

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