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Companies Must Get Ready for Gen Z Workers

 
 
By Karen A. Frenkel  |  Posted 02-22-2017
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Companies Must Get Ready for Gen Z Workers
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    Companies Must Get Ready for Gen Z Workers

    The next generation joining the workforce, Gen Z, values face-to-face communication, and appreciates tech tools for their effectiveness, not their convenience.
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    Who Needs an Office?
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    Who Needs an Office?

    57% of Gen Z respondents, 51% of Millennials and 42% of Gen Xers said physical offices will be necessary to complete a day's work.
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    Gen Z Wants Hybrid Workspace
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    Gen Z Wants Hybrid Workspace

    Gen Z wants a physical workspace (57%) combined with the ability to work remotely (48%) and have flexible hours (73%). They want tools that let them work effectively in both environments.
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    Personal Communications
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    Personal Communications

    25% of Gen Z workers prefer communicating in person, whereas 40% of Millennials said personal interaction will become less important in the workplace.
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    Effectiveness Versus Saving Time
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    Effectiveness Versus Saving Time

    Gen Z is concerned about choosing communications tools that help relay messages more effectively (51%), in contrast to Millennials (42%), who, more than any other generation, prioritize communications tools that help them save time.
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    Gen Z Rejects Traditional Tools
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    Gen Z Rejects Traditional Tools

    Only 5% of Gen Z respondents prefer email, compared with 34% of Millennials and 39% of Gen Xers. 42% of Gen Z use landlines for work, compared with half of Millennials and Gen Xers.
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    Bots and Automation
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    Bots and Automation

    All the generations agreed that bots and automation will have a stronger role in the future. 70% of the respondents agreed that some current jobs can be automated by bots, and 80% agreed that bots will do some of their jobs five years from now.
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    Everyone Loves Smartphones
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    Everyone Loves Smartphones

    When asked about the communications devices they use at work, on average, half of all respondents across the three generations use smartphones
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    Group Messaging and Chat Tools
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    Group Messaging and Chat Tools

    Each generation predicted that the use of messaging and chat apps would decrease, but Gen Z is the least likely to use these work tools. 21% percent of Gen Z workers use chat tools now, but only 13% expect to use them in the future.
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    Response to New Technologies: Wearables
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    Response to New Technologies: Wearables

    Gen Z may not be as technologically attuned as Millennials when it comes to adopting new technologies such as wearables. 39% of Millennials use wearables in their personal lives, compared to 30% of Gen X and 27% of Gen Z.
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    Response to New Technologies: The IoT
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    Response to New Technologies: The IoT

    Asked whether they use connected appliances in their personal lives, 35% of Millennials, 26% of Gen Z and 25% of Gen X do so. Money may be the cause: 50% of Gen Z respondents rely on their parents to pay for their communications tools.
 

As Generation Z enters the workforce, its work priorities will differ substantially from its predecessors, the Millennials. The workforce shifted dramatically to accommodate Millennials, also called Generation Y, (born 1977-1994), who have wholeheartedly embraced technology. The pendulum may swing back in the direction of Generation X (born 1966-1976) and their children, Generation Z (born 1995 and later). A new study, "Rogue One: How Generation Z Is Going to Bring Balance to the (Work)Force," finds Gen Z less tech-dependent than the previous generation. They favor face-to-face interactions and want a physical, rather than a remote, workspace. They also value tools for their effectiveness rather than convenience and efficiency, "Gen Z will bring more balance to the workplace through face-to-face communication and tools that will help them communicate more effectively. This will have an impact over the next 12 months," said Enzo Signore, chief marketing officer of 8 x 8, which conducted the survey. In partnership with Koski Research, it surveyed full-and part-time U.S. workers in November 2016. The 1,000 respondents include 200 Gen Z, 400 Millennial and 400 Gen X respondents. This slideshow focuses on key findings of the report.

 
 
 
 
 
Karen A. Frenkel writes about technology and innovation and lives in New York City.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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