We all read the articles about what our workplace looks like with different generations – Baby Boomers (56-70 yrs. old), Generation X (37-55 yrs. old) and Millennials (Generation Y) (21-36 yrs. old), but now we need to be discussing how our workplaces will have to adjust to Generation Z (7-20 yrs. old). No longer are we going to spend our time trying to figure out how to work with Millennials; we now need to understand the changes to come with Gen Z.
Many would group Millennials and Gen Z together, but once digging a bit deeper, they start looking less like the wide open Millennials. You see the consistent use of technology, but a much stronger demand for privacy. Both want information quickly, but the Gen Z attention span is becoming even shorter from thirty-second YouTube clips to six-second Vine videos. Both generations are taking entrepreneurial chances; however, Gen Z is cautious due to our ever increasing economic uncertainty over the past several years. Most Millennials knew a world that existed without social media and a time when technology was beginning to edge into daily life. Gen Z only knows a world where social media is everything and technology is a part of everyday life. Their friendships were not formed from play dates and recess; their relationships begin and end online.
So what does this look like for the workplace? We need to start considering our policies, offerings and functions with this increase of need for more technology, privacy, quick information and caution toward careers from a growing generation. Many would say that we are far from this being a concern; however, this generation has already started trickling into our workplaces and in a handful of years the trickle will turn into a constant flow. Our time of focusing on Millennials is decreasing and now we need to be ready for Generation Z.
What do you think? Are these changes starting to show in your workplace? Share your thoughts with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.