Generation Z (1996-2012) walk among us. In fact, by 2025, they’ll account for more than 25% of the workforce. So, as organisations scramble for ways to attract and engage this new generation, how are our workplaces being reshaped?

Firstly, to understand a generation, we need to look beyond the stereotypes – and our unconscious bias – to understand people’s lived experiences and how it has influenced them.

So, how are Gen Z’s expectations shaping the workplace?

Gen Z matured alongside some of the greatest technology we’ve ever known, making them one of the most digitally savvy generations – ready, willing and able to adapt to new tools and technology. On top of that, they’ve thrived in the era of social media, driving a revolution in how we communicate. Their expectations of tech and comms needs to be met in the workplace (please don’t give them a BlackBerry) to create a stimulating and fulfilling experience. Anything less will be seen as the Stone Age.

Equality, diversity & inclusion
Gen Z grew up in a far more diverse world than any of the previous generations. And when they consider diversity, they are more likely to think beyond protected characteristics to include a mixture of experiences, identities, and opinions – as well as having the freedom to express themselves. To be seen and heard. Gen Z are holding organisations to account for their commitment to EDI – from a policy, leadership, and brand perspective – looking for those that stand by their word, and leaving those who don’t.

Gen Z are the ‘hustle generation’ with many working two or more jobs. The cost-of-living is making this a necessity for some but on a deeper-level, Gen Z are exploring their passion projects, the activities that give them meaning – as well as extra cash. Organisational purpose has existed for decades but Gen Z are looking for workplaces where they can make a difference, doing something that sets their soul on fire. And let’s not forget about values – because how we do it (sustainably and ethically) means a lot too.

For Gen Z, the pandemic occurred at a pivotal time when they were just entering the workplace. So, all they ever knew was a zoom call from their bedroom. And this taste of work outside the office has meant that flexibility is a natural state of mind – it’s their expectation of work. And the key is flexibility – they don’t want to ‘WFH’ all the time, because they’re hungry for in-person communication, collaborating with real people. As workplaces reshape their office environments, creating space to connect and work together is vital for our newest generation. Those that can balance flexibility with collaborative environments will win the battle for Gen Z.