“For Generation Z, the digital world is just as real as the “real” world. Young people live and breathe online and move intuitively in its ecosystems” — Jo Dietrich, Co-Founder of the Generation Z Agency ZEAM
Would you call this era the age of technology? Millennials might form a big chunk of the workforce. However, workplace trends are changing fast. The show is ending for millennials — individuals who were born between 1981 to 1996, as most are moving toward their late 30s.
Ever notice how youngsters can manipulate computers, iPads, and social media according to their advantage? Young founders, influencers, digital nomads, and tech-savvy Zoomers have turned the internet into an income stream. Gen-Z has been born and bred with tech devices — this factor plays a huge role in their relationship with technological advances.
Gen-Z continues to impress, especially the baby boomers, and the millennials can’t comprehend their relationship with digitization. According to Pew research, “Generation Z is anyone born after 1997.” Let’s get back to our discussion. In what ways is Gen-Z better than the other generations?
Content is cash
How does a Gen Z-er stay fit? By constantly scrolling through their phone, it’s a real workout for the thumbs.
What you can appreciate the Generation Z is their ability to make money out of social media. Their close connection with social media is an admirable quality. Taking a concept and converting it into a selling point is a skill. If you analyze the current situation, certain factors come into play.
Firstly, there was a rise in TikTok usage during the COVID-19 pandemic and even in the latter years. According to Statista, “TikTok saw a significant increase in popularity during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the United States, with a growth of 180 percent among 15–25-year-old users.” Plus, affiliation with technology does not only mean websites such as TikTok, Instagram, or YouTube.
The internet might be Generation Z’s playground for entertainment. However, they are fully aware of tools that can assist in growing an online career. Another interesting observation is that youngsters today are not hesitant to experiment with the latest tools and technologies.
It’s okay to be different.
Aren’t most choices all about making a statement? Gone are the days of blending in and following the crowds. Brands that have understood this new way of thinking have been able to strike gold in the market. Apple insider tells us that the latest Piper Sander teen survey shows that the popularity of the iPhone and Apple watch use has increased in recent years.
What is it that makes Apple so attractive?
Apple has been quite successful in adding a personalized touch to its products which added to the charm of its devices. Did you know that a recent study found that Gen-Z spends a higher percentage of their time on devices than previous generations? Gen-Z-ers approximately 9 hours a day, in front of a screen.
Since Zoomers are active on social media, these websites and mobile apps have become a source of knowledge for them. Because of this, many develop an interest in creating their websites, apps, etc. No matter what age, there is an excitement to learn something new.
Versatility in tech usage
“Ask the young. They know everything.” — Joseph Joubert.
One thing’s for certain Zoomers love to “device-hop.” From amalgamating y2k trends with their aesthetic to exploring different mediums of communication — Gen-Z isn’t afraid to take risks. They tend to own a range of devices, switching doesn’t seem to be a hassle.
Due to this consumer behavior, there has been an increase in the demand for UI/UX designers, mobile app developers, front-end developers, and back-end developers. At the same time, businesses are beginning to see how Generation Z employees can add value to their products.
Socializing, creating content, finding information, making notes, texting, and so much more you can add to the list. Zoomers depend on tech for so many activities. A better understanding of customer needs, a grasp of aesthetic values, and consumer nature- such factors are crucial in making the device more appealing.
The digital native generation
Of course, most of us know that Gen-Z grew up during a time of Apple iPods, iPads, and smartphones. Hence, Gen-Z has been exploring technology since their life even started. Does it impact how these youngsters think, act, and conduct themselves? The answer is a big yes.
According to the Business Review, “Recent research has shown dramatic shifts in youth behaviors, attitudes, and lifestyles — both positive and concerning — for those who came of age in this era.”
Also, there’s a certain level of comfort with technology with Generation Zoomers. For these minds, experimenting with tech tools, staying in touch with their socials, or even looking up the latest trends is not a hassle but a routine!
Gen-Z workplace values
“70% of Gen-Z workers are open to new job opportunities that come along, and nearly one-third of them are actively looking for a different job.” (technologyadvice.com)
For Generation Zoomers or the internet age generation, there has been a lot of talk on gender inclusivity, acceptance, and diversity. Naturally, this has been an eye-opener for many employees. Thus, the traditional ways of office-working and old-fashioned ideas are changing. With the new culture of hybrid to remote work, younger employees are more aware of productivity tools and techniques to keep up with the pressure.
Nowadays, businesses are formulating policies to ensure there is tolerance. As a result, it favors a healthy workplace culture and gets the attention of the best talent. Moreover, it paints a positive image of the organization to the clientele.
“This is a generational shift in the belief that these values are really important and foundational to their experiences as workers,” said Alvin B. Tillery Jr., director of the Center for Diversity and Democracy at Northwestern University.
Innovation in learning with a Gen-Z workforce
“Gen-Z learners also prefer more independence in learning than L&D programs tend to offer. While nearly half of Gen-Z respondents prefer a fully self-directed and independent approach to learning.” These are the conclusions of the results from a LinkedIn survey.
By accustoming themselves to technological changes, Gen-Z prefers to adopt methods that save time and lead to maximum learning. Hence, the concept of “micro-learning” is the right solution. Therefore, HR leaders should invest in learning practices that they can easily incorporate into the fast-paced lives of this new generation of workers.
Organizations can introduce mentoring programs so that employees get an opportunity to get hands-on experience rather than searching elsewhere. HR leaders can compile courses according to what the company wants from their employees. It is a better alternative to workers surfing the internet to find suitable training courses.
According to a Gen-Z student, “I think (technology) has been a really good tool for doing research, and having all sorts of information at my fingertips has helped me be proactive in my learning in some ways,” (source: voanews.com)
Gen-Z and tech jobs
Who knew tech would become so popular? According to a survey, the majority of 18 to 24-year-olds chose software development as their top career choice. It is intriguing how tech jobs have become a hot topic amongst Gen-Zers. They realize how the world keeps transitioning. Hence, these vivacious youngsters know their value in the market. Gen-Z folks are keen on developing their technological job experiences. Several studies prove that Generation Z folks show great interest in working for tech and software companies.
Some of the top tech career options include mobile development, data science, product management, and DevOps engineering. A survey on business news daily further highlights that the most sought-after companies in the Gen-Z crowd included tech giants such as Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle.
What about critical thinking?
Some describe Generation Z as the ”snowflake”-generation. It is a negative term “describing an overly sensitive and easily offended generation that can’t handle criticism.” Is this true?
Forbes estimates that by 2030 Gen-Z will make up 30% of the workforce. A common complaint from Gen-Z employees is that they act as IT support for senior workers in the office. They would rather do projects that provide a learning experience than act as “tech assistants”. What does this tell about Zoomers? Have they set too many limits for themselves at a young age?
So, what is the final verdict?
Well, the final verdict is there is no final verdict. Gen-Z might surpass the previous generations in some ways. For instance, their understanding of tech products and the skill to mint money from social media.
However, we must acknowledge that every generation comes with its strengths.
Baby Boomers are motivated by the sense of responsibility and duty that comes with their work. They take pride in their jobs and want to make a difference in the world.” — Marci Alboher, author of “The Encore Career Handbook”
If we talk about workplace culture, founders and leaders must be able to utilize the talent of each age group. Each individual has their strong points and weaknesses. The approach should be about channeling and harnessing an individual’s talent.