How is Gen Z changing the workplace

Written by Chris West

Born between 1997 and 2012, Generation Z – or Gen Z – currently make up 30 percent of the world’s population and are expected to account for 27 percent of the workforce by 2025. This could compound the changes to work as we know it, as employers seek to attract and retain the next generation of talent.

While everyone wants fulfilling work and decent pay and conditions, there are nonetheless some key characteristics that set Gen Z apart from their predecessors – Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers.

They are the first digital generation to grow up with no recollection of a world without the internet. They have never used analogue camera film, a CD player, a paper map, or a floppy disk.

Gen Z have been named the “first global generation,” growing up in a society where global content and information are generally more freely available, and where one-click shopping for goods from anywhere in the world is taken for granted. This may set them on the path to pioneer nomadic careers and develop new ways to make money online.

Given their experience growing up in the aftermath of the recession caused by the global financial crisis in 2008 – and the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s war on Ukraine – you might think Gen Z has emerged as a pragmatic, risk-averse, non-entrepreneurial group motivated by salary and job security. This is not necessarily true.

While salary is the most important factor in deciding on a job, Gen Z values salary less than every other generation. Given a choice of accepting a better-paying, dull job versus work that was more interesting but didn’t pay as well, Gen Z was evenly split over the choice.

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