Friday, 9 October 2015

Are Generation Z a challenge to modern workplace?

New research has revealed that 'generation Z', those currently aged 19 years and younger, are about to pose major challenges for businesses as they enter the workplace.

The research, commissioned by Ricoh and carried out by Coleman Parkes, polled workers - and those about to enter the workplace - in the UK and Ireland.

It found that Gen Zers believe they will become frustrated far more easily than older generations. Communication is key with nearly half (46 per cent) saying they would be irritated by a lack of communication from colleagues, compared to only one in four (23 per cent) from other generations.

When considering ways of working, 40 per cent of Gen Zers would find a "lack of flexibility in hours" a serious frustration with their job - compared with just 13 per cent of Baby Boomers, 13 per cent of Generation X and 21 per cent of Millennials. Meanwhile, nearly a third (30 per cent) of Gen Z would be frustrated by a lack of information sharing, and a similar figure (28 per cent) by a lack of responsibility.

More than double the number of Gen Zers are attracted to a company that enables them to feel like they are making a difference to the world - 42 per cent compared with 15 per cent of Baby Boomers, 18 per cent of Gen X and 15 per cent of Millennials. And almost five times as many Gen Z respondents are attracted to companies that offer technology to enable people to work more efficiently (29 per cent) than those from the older generations (6 per cent).

Phil Keoghan, CEO, Ricoh UK & Ireland, said: "Generation Z has justifiably high expectations from their employers because, as technology evolves, so should their ability to work anywhere using the device most comfortable to them. With new technology underpinning important processes, employees are enabled to work in the way they prefer, building the foundations for success. Businesses of all sizes should be exploring opportunities to adopt new ways of working - creating an environment in which employees can flourish."

The research also reveals that Generation Z have high expectations of their own positive impact on the workplace. Most of them believe they will bring exceptional technology skills (72 per cent), new ideas and fresh thinking (63 per cent), new ways of working (55 per cent).

Keoghan added: "While tomorrow's young workers prepare themselves to enter the world of work - helping businesses become more agile and digitally savvy - working environments can often be restrictive. Given their desire for constant innovation, instant communication and open collaboration, Gen Z will pose a big challenge for businesses. However, by investing in technology, employers can empower their teams to perform at the highest level, breaking down the traditional barriers that typically stand in young people's way."