By 2020, millennials are expected to comprise 50 percent of the global workforce, according to a PwC report. In response, a number of employers are placing an increased emphasis on identifying their desired amenities, management style and other preferences.
Millennials, however, aren’t the only age group poised to make an impact.
Another generation — Gen Z, born roughly from the mid-1990s to 2010 — is starting to trickle into workplaces around the world.
In the U.S., this generation currently is the largest segment of the population (26 percent), according to the Society for Human Resource Management. In 2015, 15- to 24-year-olds, a Z Generation-concentrated group, accounted for one out of every six people worldwide, according to a United Nations report.
As employers learn more about the characteristics of Generation Z workers, the age group’s growing presence could have a marked effect on the way organizations hire and retain young workers.
Research indicates Gen Z and Y have different views on a variety of workplace attributes — such as:
Although they’re comfortable using it, a number of Gen Z members favor face-to-face communication over tech tool use, according to a report from communication service provider 8x8. They tend to opt for solutions they feel will be the most effective, instead of ones that will save the most time.
While millennials favor online job boards, younger workers place more emphasis on their personal connections and their parents’ when looking for employment, according to a 2015 survey from Adecco.
The majority (67 percent) of Gen Z members are willing to relocate for a good job, according to a 2016 Monster survey, and 58 percent say they’ll work nights and weekends for a better salary, compared to 41 percent of all working generations who say they’d do the same.
Monster also found Gen Z places a stronger emphasis on benefits and security, similar to Gen X and baby boomers, than their millennial coworkers. Gen Z members rank health insurance, a competitive salary and a boss they respect as their top three necessary job elements.
Gen Z workers want a structured office layout with spaces that have been designated for specific tasks such as collaboration that involves both in-person and virtual components, according to insight from workplace furniture provider Knoll.
For all their differences, Gen Z and Y share some similarities — research from Randstad and Future Workplace found, for example, the same amount, 49 percent, expect to work in their current industry throughout their entire career.
Stress, the biggest obstacle that can hinder work performance for both generations, is another common ground.
Work-life balance is the Z Generation’s primary career concern, according to research from staffing firm Robert Half and entrepreneurial organization Enactus. Millennials, similarly, feel they’re falling short in that area; 84 percent said in a FlexJobs survey they want more work-life balance.
Providing a less stressful work experience for millennials and younger workers may just involve making a few communication policy and other tweaks. For tips, view our blog posts on fulfilling a better work-life balance promise and — despite the prevalence of personal devices that enable day-and-night access to staff members — respecting employees’ time off to give them a chance to refuel.