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Gen Z is Taking Over the Workforce: Here's What That Means for the Future of Work

Aware HQ
5/2/19, 10:52 AM

The youngest age group—Generation Z—is starting to flood the labor pool at an all-time high, and they’re unlike any group to come before them. Conferences are routinely filled with sessions on how to better relate to younger employees, orient them for success and better appeal to their needs. So, when it comes to the workplace—how do leaders build an internal communication and collaboration strategy that satisfies the needs of these new employees?

What to Expect When You’re Expecting (A New Generation)

The oldest members of Generation Z, people born after 1996, are starting to enter the workforce and already making waves. The Wall Street Journal describes them “sober, industrious and driven by money,” but at the same time “socially awkward and timid about taking the reins.” The post-millennial generation is on track to be the most diverse, best educated generation yet.

Generation Z cites flexibility in their work schedule to be a top priority when looking for new employment opportunities. An expectation of remote options is hardly a surprise considering that Gen Z-ers (sometimes called screenagers) barely remember a time without the internet, cell phones or some form of digital communication.

It’s Time for Collaborative and Fast Internal Communications Protocols

2015 was the beginning of Gen Z’s debut into the workforce and now they’re beginning to demand faster communication options—causing offices to change how they collaborate. Since their entry, the newest generation has changed the traditional sense of the office as we know it.

The Trending Shift Towards Remote Work

In a recent study, 34% of business leaders predict that half of all enterprises’ full-time employees will be working remotely, in some capacity, by 2020. Other trends that support these predictions include:

  • Many young employees are moving away from the standard 9-to-5 work schedule in favor of alternative hours that they find more convenient and productive.
  • The search for the perfect work-life balance is on, with more and more budding professionals indicating it as one of the highest priorities they seek [after financial benefits] in a new job.
  • They know working when and where they’re comfortable improves their job satisfaction, which can help stave off the dreaded burn out that seems to plague the preceding age group.

Due to shifts like the popularization of working remotely, companies need to supply a way for their employees to remain connected such as digital collaboration tools like Workplace by Facebook, Yammer or Microsoft Teams.

Provide the Tools to Keep Gen Z Satisfied and Engaged

Known as the “iGeneration”, Gen Z-ers are tech-savvy and quick to pick up any new digital tool. Email, a tool predating their own existence, is viewed as an antiquated and bothersome tool that doesn’t deliver the instant gratification and responses that this era of workers desire.

On top of this, a Deloitte study found that Generation Z expects to stay at a company for less time than traditional standards, hoping to gain more experience by moving quickly between organizations. This means that their employers will have to make a greater effort to keep this new workforce engaged in order to maintain high employee retention rates.

Enterprise collaboration tools have the capabilities to provide just that.

Whether it’s connecting the employee working from the comfort of the couch to headquarters or allowing the night owl to work late at night, platforms like Workplace by Facebook, Microsoft Teams and Slack are breaking down geographical barriers and time constraints hindering this new labor force.

On the relationship between collaboration tools and younger generations in the workforce, our CEO Jeff Schumann said, “Office environment, flexible arrangements and other elements that define our culture are discussed more with candidates than compensation itself. From what we are seeing, compensation comes after an employee decides, ‘This is the culture I want to work for.’ Compensation no longer is the deciding factor.”


An Executive’s Guide to Choosing a Collaboration Platform

The needs and projects of your marketing department can be much different than those of the engineering team, and because of this, finding the right workplace collaboration tool for your enterprise can be tricky. In the not-so-distant future, almost all internal communications will be digital and tools like Workplace by Facebook and Microsoft Teams will be non-optional. 

Discover which platform is right for your organization.

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