Generation Z (Gen Z) is the name for the generation of people born between 1997 and 2012. This generation is making its way into the workforce and by 2030, they will surpass millennials as the majority of employees in the U.S. workforce. Since this generation is entering the workforce in waves, it’s important to understand the impact of the latest work trends on Gen Z employees.
Gen Z is a highly social generation. They prefer face-to-face interactions with colleagues and prefer open floor plans that allow them to have more informal interactions than closed-off, cubicle-style offices. Gen Z is also characterized by being observational learners, meaning they learn best through watching the behaviors of others. So how does this generation of employees that prefers in-person interactions and learns best by observing, finding remote work? According to HR Dive, Gen Z feels stifled by the lack of on-site work.
38% of employees—including Gen Z—reported that ongoing remote work has a negative impact on their ability to collaborate and work in teams. However, 71% of business leaders and 59% of employees say returning to a traditional 9-5 in-office setting is not realistic anymore. This is not exciting news for Gen Z employees, who thrive on interpersonal interactions. Many Gen Z employees started their careers working remotely and are craving a traditional office experience. 61% of Gen Z employees found it challenging to make friends at work when they were fully remote, and 39% said it was difficult to find mentors and network with other professionals in their field. These same respondents also struggle with acquiring new skills resulting from a lack of understanding of their company’s culture and what role they play in the organization. The bottom line? 58% of Gen Z employees are planning to leave their fully remote positions in the next year and are looking for hybrid options or in-person positions.
With a portion of the workforce saying they want to leave their remote jobs, this can be challenging for companies that are already struggling with retention after the Great Resignation. So how can employers help their Gen Z employees to avoid losing quality talent? Employers that are remote can offer a hybrid option, if they’re able, for those employees that want to return to the office a few times each week. Establishing new policies and procedures around remote work and remote onboarding can also help fill in the gaps for employees that aren’t able to have the same in-person experience as their colleagues before them did.
For example, companies can try to create in-person interactions, virtually. You can establish “good morning” calls with teams over video conference platforms to mimic the daily chats that would normally take place over a cup of coffee. This will help the team feel more engaged.
Another option is to have meetings that are dedicated to non-work discussions. Most commonly known as “water cooler” talks, these are quick meetings you can have with your employees to just check-in. Additionally, you can set up team channels through your messaging platform that are dedicated to non-work topics. The company Peerfit has Slack channels for posting pet pictures and what shows everyone is binge-watching. Whether it’s a through chat or virtual meeting, these virtual interactions help your employees get to know each other on a more personal level and break down the silos that can exist in remote work settings.
Whether you’re looking to increase retention or establish new policies and procedures for remote work, SBS Payroll HR can help. SBS Payroll HR’s human resource solutions will give you the tools you need to help your employees adapt to a remote or hybrid work environment. Contact us to learn more about our HR services.