What the workplace can offer me and Generation Z

4 Minute Read

Our second place essay prize winner Hester Griffin shares her thoughts on the Future of the Job Market

Generation Z encompasses birth years starting from the mid to late 1990s until the early 2010s. We are best known as the “Digital-ites”, the first social generation to grow up with access to the internet. Radical differences exist between Gen Z and Millennials, and in just 3 years, Gen Z will make up 27% of the workforce. This will inevitably shake up the workplace as we know it, forcing employers to change their ways in order to not only attract, but retain this generation of talent.

New priorities

So, what makes us different? Firstly, we have a very different set of priorities in the workforce to generations preceding us. We value salary less than other generations, caring instead about roles with engaging and interesting work, companies that offer professional development, share our moral values and encourage flexible working. Work-life balance features high up in Gen Z priorities, with many citing this as one of the main reasons they would quit. We are demanding greater flexibility and choice in the way that we work, with remote opportunities a top priority.

Hybrid and remote working options are becoming increasingly popular among Generation Z

The ‘new normal’

Gen Z joined the workforce during the Covid-19 pandemic. We were already well adapted to these technological changes and have fully embraced this shaking up of the job market. We value the flexibility that remote working can offer us, 73% of employees now desire permanent flexible work options. Remote and hybrid work fosters productivity and efficiency, alongside increasing employee satisfaction. After introducing a remote-work policy in 2021, Spotify have decreased their turnover rate and increased diversity numbers. This is another hugely important consideration for firms to consider. Gen Z are the most diverse generation in history, with projections estimating Gen Z will be majority non-white by 2026.

Finding work that matches our values

We are insisting greater social and environmental responsibility than the Millennials that came before us. With these factors expressed as preferences by previous generations, Gen Z see as dealbreakers. Perhaps with roots in the Great Recession, we have an inherent distrust of business, determined to design and create a future that suits us. This isn’t just exclusive to the growing purchasing power that Gen Z wield, but also centrally achieved through where we choose to work. Gen Z are demanding diversity and inclusion in the workplace, sustainability commitments and companies acting as conscious global citizens are becoming a requirement.

We are also not afraid, when frustrated with the hand we have been given, to seek out other opportunities and job hop. Gone are the days of joining as a coffee-making, post-delivering intern and working up through the ranks. Gen Z’ers are always on the lookout for new roles, and we are already spending less time in jobs than Millennials, spending an average of 2 years 3 months in a role. This “Great Resignation” is only growing, with members of Generation Z currently switching jobs at a rate 134% higher than in 2019.

Gen Z have switched the traditional narrative of “What can you offer this company” into what we are expecting from work.

So, how are you going to attract and keep us?

  • Flexibility: hybrid and remote working is a no brainer in todays job market. With the aftershocks of the pandemic still ricocheting, coupled with increasing prevalence of virtual meetings, global teams and mobility, offering hybrid and remote roles will attract the best talent.
  • Corporate social responsibility: be clear with the company’s moral compass. Gen Z want to forge a connection with the work we are undertaking, how are we directly supporting the company goals and how is this furthering the world that we work within.
  • Learning and development: despite the demands we are placing on our employers, we are still young, eager and enthusiastic. We are career minded and looking to learn and grow. By curating an always-learning environment for Gen Z, we feel engaged and can appreciate the personal nature of investment in individuals. 

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