May 30, 2023

Are we preparing workplaces to welcome Gen Z?

Gen Z is the newest generation to enter the workforce and, according to Business Insider, by 2026 they will overtake Millennials as the largest generation, accounting for more than 27% of the workforce.

Gen Z is the newest generation to enter the workforce and, according to Business Insider, by 2026 they will overtake Millennials as the largest generation, accounting for more than 27% of the workforce.

And this is just the beginning. In just a few years, Gen Z will be predominant in the working environment worldwide. Born between 1997 and early 2010, the oldest members of this generational group are currently 26 years old. They are a generation that focuses on things differently.

Face-to-face or remote work? There is no choice, the solution must be hybrid if your sector of activity allows it.

Following the accelerated expansion of remote working in the wake of the pandemic, there is a return to face-to-face working across almost all organisations. Sometimes this is even mandatory. But what does Gen Z think about this?

According to a study undertaken earlier this year by Kantar among more than 10,000 employees in various countries, including Spain, it turns out that 79% of Gen Z would accept working completely remotely, a figure that drops to 66% when it comes to working 100% face-to-face. They are not totally opposed to face-to-face, but there is a preference for remote work.

According to these qualitative research experts, the distribution of remote vs. face-to-face work in Spain is as follows: 25% remote, 48% hybrid, and 27% face-to-face. With the hybrid model being the most widely implemented, the same study indicates that 70% of employees agree that hybrid work has the most positive aspects, with only 4% thinking that this type of work creates more negative aspects. The positives include the ease of reconciling professional and personal life, the reduction of commuting, and the improvement of mental health. And what are the negative factors? These can include distractions at home, difficulty in completing tasks without face-to-face meetings, lack of contact with co-workers, and difficulty in separating work from personal time.

A different generation with a common denominator: digital natives

The main idiosyncrasies of Gen Z are nothing like those we have seen in previous cohorts. Gen Z are tech geniuses, born and bred entirely in a fast-paced, internet-centric environment. These are some of the peculiarities of Gen Z, which make it a group that requires a different approach from management. As digital natives, they expect the modern workplace to be full of digital collaborative tools. Going back to the Kantar study, only 30% of Gen Z find it easier to collaborate in person. They tend to be pragmatic in their approach to their careers and education. 40% of Gen Z workers want more attention to be paid to career growth in hybrid environments, compared to 27% of Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964).

Therefore, companies need to explore the mentality and skills that this generation provides. It is time to adjust standard office, training and personal growth practices in order to make the most of the new generation.

How can we attract, compromise and retain the best talent in this generation?

The solution lies in the design of a modern workspace that can influence well-being, a sense of belonging and flexibility at work.

Because Gen Z is looking for companies that take a technology-driven approach to the employee experience. From the candidate recruitment phase, through onboarding and daily reinforcement of productivity and collaboration skills, to mobility and flexibility in the workplace. We are of course talking about the "Employee Experience" (EX), though many organisations focus almost exclusively on the "Customer Experience". What about the employee experience? It is a set of experiences and interactions which must be driven by company management and which necessarily involve both the Human Resources and IT departments. I recommend reading a recent article in which we explain the concept of employee experience and delve into key factors for its positive influence in corporations.

At SEIDOR, we offer organisations the opportunity to boost EX with our consultancy services. With projects totally focused on productivity, collaboration, flexibility, mobility and security.

Young talent is a very precious commodity, unfortunately quite scarce, and technology can help us.