Media outlets can be wrongly judgemental of millennials and generation Z, because the world they’re navigating is different to 50 years ago. Millennials are those born between 1981 and 1996, and generation Z are those born after 1997. Both generations have grown up with the rise of the internet. As a result, they have a different set of values to their parents, which is evident through their positive and fresh work ethic.
By 2025, millennials will make up ¾ of the global workforce (Deloitte Millennial Survey), but what are they bringing to the table? They’re frequently referred to as the ‘job-hopping’ generation, most likely because of minimal job satisfaction. The job market has changed. The traditional 9-5 office job is being left behind for millennials to create their own perfect working environment. They want to find a sustainable work-life balance and be able to work flexible hours. According to the 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey, 43% revealed they plan to leave their companies within two years of employment, and 61% of Generation Z plan to leave too.
Who are Generation Z?
Generation Z have never known a world without internet access. Growing up surrounded by technology has influenced how they want to work. Our culture is dedicated to constantly updating, from where we go, where we eat and who we meet. Subsequently, there are an influx of new jobs on the market involving the internet, including social media management, blogging, and app developers. Generation Z are perfect for social media and marketing roles because they understand how the platforms work compared to previous generations.
These new generations have new expectations of work. A sense of purpose within their role is essential to feel their work is meaningful and valued. The workplace looks different, it isn’t your stereotypical dull, colourless office block. They want their work space to be fun and comfortable, with unconventional layouts and more perks. And, why not? The typical British worker will spend an average of 3,515 full days at work in their lifetime, of course we want to feel happy and comfortable at work!
Companies are beginning to recognise that their employees don’t necessarily have to be in the office to be productive. Working from home is the preferred way of working, especially for freelancers!
What are the issues?
Most importantly, they want to make an impact on society and the environment. Generation Z hold strong views about politics and current affairs. Millennials believe climate change and the destruction of nature to be critical issues to tackle. There’s been an increase in young activists, raising awareness for various issues, such as period poverty, veganism, inequality and plastic usage.
Generation Z and millennials are changing how employers approach employment, making work accessible for everyone regardless of gender, race and class background. Another thing these generations care deeply about in the workplace is inclusion and diversity. Alongside their other concerns, it shows that they are deeply in tune with the world around them and want to evoke a positive change.
Instead of criticising new generations of employees, we should be considering the ways they are improving employment, and how they’re actions will affect later generations!