GENERATION Z THE FUTURE OF THE WORKPLACE
RESEARCH + ANALYSIS BY KELLY LINK
WHO IS GENERATION Z? THE FUTURE OF THE WORKPLACE
To better understand Generation Z - the next generation to enter the worforce, studioIDS, the Minneapolis office of Perkins+Will set-out to understand Gen Z so we took it into our own hands to find out for ourselves. We directed a survey, engaged Gen Z participants in our workplace, and performed a variety of exercises to learn more about the emerging generation. This paper describes the fundamental characteristics of Gen Z, what they are interested in and why, how they envision the workplace of the future, and the spatial implications for designers and planners. Based on our data analysis and findings, we provide solutions to support in engaging, retaining, and attracting Gen Z into the workplace.
2 Generation Z
Generation Z was born from 1996-2010, ages 6-20, and they will be the newest generation entering the workforce starting in 2017. They are digital natives, collaborative, financially minded, and motivated. 83% of participants have worked a job in the past two years. From our analysis we found trending key ideas revolving around technology, communication, and workstyle. Our analysis shows that Gen Z is concerned about finding a job after college, paying for college, and the uncertainty of the economy. “Their experiences so far have taught them that life isn’t going to be fair, it will be what they make it. This new generation appears to think and act differently than Millennials.” 1
KEY FINDINGS / The most important attributes when searching for a job, or deciding whether to take a position: • Meaningful work/levels of engagement (purpose) • Location-proximity to home/transportation • Company cluture/”fit” with their values • Promotions – they want to grow within their workplace • Pay Most participants want to work for a large company with a mobility plan where they can work from home, outdoors, or from the office. They are more willing to share space such as an apartment or a desk at work than personal items such as a car, bike, or clothes.
Generation Z 3
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
LOOKING INTO THE FUTURE
100% of Generation Z participants want to get a 4-year bachelor degree after high school. Gen Z’s primary objective after college is to obtain a full-time job. Other goals include, to be financially stable, get married, and travel. 67%–around the world said they would choose their course of study based on being “very interested in the subject.” 2
They want to find a job right after college, they want to be financially stable, and they want to get married. 60% say a lot of money is a sign of success. 3 Many of the participants know what they want to be when they grow up and they have a plan to get there, this comes from their motivated nature.
4 Generation Z
PROFESSIONAL OBJECTIVE POST COLLEGE FULL-TIME JOB PURSUE ANOTHER DEGREE
PARTICIPANTS WANT TO GET A 4-YEAR
32% FINDING A JOB
35% FIND A JOB
26% PAYING FOR COLLEGE
27% BE FINANCIALLY STABLE
19% THE ECONOMY
15% THE ENVIRONMENT
GOALS AFTER COLLEGE
CONCERNS FOR THE FUTURE
BACHELOR DEGREE AFTER HIGH SCHOOL
14% GET MARRIED
13% TO TRAVEL Generation Z 5
Generation Z are digital natives, technology is integrated into their life.
Gen Z was born into a world with established technology and devices small enough to fit into their pockets. On average, Gen Z uses their smartphones 15.4 hours per week—more than any other type of device. 4They do not know a world without technology and they use technology daily to be connected and mobile.
The top technology tools used by high school and college students are laptops, cell phones, and tablets. These digital natives expect their workplace to have technology that is equal to or better than what they have at home. 76% of Generation Z agree that technology will help them achieve their goals.5 Technology should be integrated into your workplace strategy and used to promote mobility, productivity, and connectedness. Technology is a key component to attracting Gen Z into your workplace.
TOP THREE DEVICES USED BY HIGH SCHHOL AND COLLEGE AGED STUDENTS
# 2 CELL PHONES
DEVICES USED TO COMPLETE SCHOOL WORK
+ P R P E F. T E TO HON LE TO CON BL HE NCIL P T B A K R O PE S R P TA LA PE DE IDEO WEA VICE LL A P E V C DE
6 Generation Z
COMMUNICATION Generation Z uses technology to communicate and connect with others.
Gen Z uses technology to communicate with their friends and family, coworkers, bosses, and the general public. Over 50% of Generation Z say it is easier or more convenient to chat digitally. 6 Although digital communication is more convenient they crave face to face communication. They communicate most in person followed by text message and email, Snapchat, phone call, and Instagram. 78% of participants use social media to communicate and meet people.
The trends with the top communication methods are videography and photography, quick responses, and mobile connectivity. Text message and email allows non-committal conversations to occur anytime anywhere. Snapchat and Instagram provide quick visual connection that can be supplemented by text. These platforms allow Gen Z to always be connected and able to collaborate while reflecting their personal brand.
COMMUNICATION METHOD WITH BOSS
COMMUNICATION METHOD WITH FRIENDS FACE-TO-FACE TEXT MESSAGE
disagree with the following
USE SCOIAL MEDIA TO...
DISAGREE STRONGLY DISAGREE
CONNECT 78% AGREE EXPRESS 43% AGREE
AGREE STRONGLY AGREE
Generation Z 7 perkinswill.com
: WORKSTYLE GROUP
Generation Z prefers to work in a group rather than individually.
WHERE GROUP PROJECTS ARE WORKED ON SCHOOL HOME FRIEND’S HOME
Gen Z is a collaborative generation whether it is in person or digitally. When it comes to group work 85% of Gen Z participants agree that when they work on group projects it is better to work in person. When working on group projects they usually work on them at school. 76% have a strong preference for being hands-on with projects.7 If they are at home working on a group project they work at a desk majority of the time.
Group work settings should foster collaboration around a desk or table to support in-person, hands on project work. 80% of Gen Z participants agree that they work well with others and 53% prefer to work in a group on projects rather than individually. Your space should provide adequate group workspace to support a collaborative team based environment.
WORKING ON GROUP PROJECTS... IT’S IMPORTANT TO WORK TOGETHER IN PERSON
I WORK WELL WITH OTHERS ON PROJECTS
I PREFER TO WORK WITH A GROUP ON PROJECTS
I PREFER TO WORK ALONE ON PROJECTS
I LIKE TO USE EMAIL AND THE PHONE TO WORK WITH OTHERS ON A PROJECT
29% AGREE DISAGREE STRONGLY DISAGREE
8 Generation Z
AGREE STRONGLY AGREE
: WORKSTYLE INDIVIDUAL Generation Z wants flexibility in the workplace.
When Gen Z isn’t collaborating in a group they want a space to focus. 71% of participants do their individual homework at home while their group project work is done at school. This show that a balance between individual focus space and collaborative group space is important to Gen Z. When working on homework at home majority of participants work in the kitchen or dining area or in their room not at a desk. A variety of individual focus areas should be provided to allow choice based on individual task needs.
I WANT TO BE ABLE TO “WORK FROM HOME
OR FROM THE OFFICE”
WHERE HOMEWORK IS COMPLETED
66% of participants want to have a job where they can work outside of the office from another location. They want flexibility in where they work and how they work. 48% want to work for a large company with few wanting to own their own business. Since Gen Z wants to work for a large mobile company it is important to include mobility into your workplace strategy.
SCHOOL HOME FRIEND’S HOME CAFE OTHER
WHAT GEN Z WHATS IN THEIR CAREER TO BE ABLE TO WORK OUTSIDE OF THE OFFICE
WORK FOR A LARGE COMPANY
WORK FOR A SMALL COMPANY
OWN MY OWN COMPANY WITHIN TEN YEARS
15% AGREE DISAGREE STRONGLY DISAGREE
AGREE STRONGLY AGREE
Generation Z 9
ENVIRONMENT Generation Z is more willing to share space than personal items.
The work environment that Gen Z seeks offers natural daylighting, mobility to work from outside of the office, open and collaborative, and an aesthetically pleasing. More than half of Gen Z participants would rather share space than personal items. They are willing to share a desk making a 100% free address workplace an efficient option. The environment should support impromptu collaboration and foster a team based atmosphere.
WILLING TO SHARE... APARTMENT
DESK AT WORK
We engaged the Gen Z workshop participants in an interactive activity where they were able to choose the image of the enviornment they would like to work in. Here are their top choices and the reasons for each.
• You could find an office near by and take breaks to go there, it would be fun to go on the rides • You could get a discount on rides if you work there
• Cool atmosphere, aesthetics
• It looks quite there
• Individual space but close enough to collaborate
• Open, team based
• Glass fronts for transparency • Bright, a lot of natural light
10 Generation Z
• No separations which makes it collaborative
Meaningful and engaging work is more important than pay. 60% of Gen Z participants said that “having an impact on the world” is going to be important to them in their jobs.8 Gen Z rates their most important attributes when choosing a job to be meaningful work and level of engagement, location and proximity to home or transportation, company culture and fit with their values, and promotions. 30% say they would take a 10-20% pay cut to work for a cause they deeply care about.9 This tells us a lot about the generation and what you as a company must do to attract, retain, and engage Generation Z workers.
77% anticipate working harder than previous generations to have a satisfying and fulfilling career.10 Your company mission, vision, and goals should be meaningful. Your workplace strategy should include engagement opportunities. Your company should provide Gen Z the opportunity to grow and be promoted. Through the use of technology, workplace strategy, and the work environment your company can attract, retain, and engage hard working, motivated, and collaborative Gen Z individuals.
DESIRED WORKPLACE ATTRIBUTES MEANINGFUL WORK + LEVEL OF ENGAGEMENT
LOCATION - PROXIMITY TO HOME / TRANSPORATION
COMPANY CULTURE - ALIGNED VALUES
FLEXIBILITY IN HOURS AND ABILITY TO WORK OUTSIDE THE OFFICE
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
BOSS / SUPERVISOR
OFFICE / WORKPLACE DESIGN PERKS [FREE LUNCH, GYM ACCESS]
Generation Z 11
HOW TO DESIGN
APPROACH TO DESIGNING A WORKPLACE TO ATTRACT, ENGAGE, AND RETAIN GENERATION Z EMPLOYEES • Meaningful work and company culture (mission, values, goals, social purpose etc.)
• Open team based collaboration with areas for personal focus
• Flexible work and mobility plan- Choice/Variety
• Natural daylight and views
• Up to date technology to support mobility
• Atmosphere and aestheticcomfortable, homey, beautiful
• Location of company (context, connectivity, transportation)
12 Generation Z
• Transparency- be able to see what others are working on, impromptu collaboration
The U.S. Census finds that Generation Z makes up 25% of the population making them the largest generation thus far.11 As Gen Z emerges into the workplace it is important to consider how they want to work, what tool they use to work, where they want to work, and who they want to work for. These considerations are directly related to your company’s workplace strategy (mission, vision, goals, and culture) along with your workplace design and planning. Use the solutions in this paper as a guide to attract, retain, and engage the up and coming largest generation yet.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF: • How can I prepare for Generation Z entering the workforce? • Does my current space apply these attributes that support Generation Z’s desires? • What can I change in your current workplace to accomodate Generation Z?
REFERENCES: 1 The Center for Generational Kinetics <www.genhq.com/igen/> 2 Kathryn Dill, Forbes <www.forbes.com/sites/kathryndill/2015/11/06/7-thingsemployers-should-know-about-the-gen-z-workforce/#4ba152052188> 3 Deep Focus <www.deepfocus.net/press/deep-focus-cassandra-report-gen-zuncovers-massive-attitude-shifts/> 4 Matt Kleinschmit <www.visioncritical.com/ 5 Deep Focus <www.deepfocus.net/press/deep-focus-cassandra-report-gen-zuncovers-massive-attitude-shifts/>generation-z-infographics/> 6 Deep Focus <www.deepfocus.net/press/deep-focus-cassandra-report-gen-zuncovers-massive-attitude-shifts/>generation-z-infographics/> 7 Millennial Branding <millennialbranding.com/2014/geny-genz-global-workplaceexpectations-study/> 8 Rick Wartzman <time.com/6693/coming-soon-to-your-office-gen-z/> 9 Robert Half <www.roberthalf.com/workplace-research/get-ready-for-generation-z> 10 Ibid. 11 Kathryn Dill, Forbes <www.forbes.com/sites/kathryndill/2015/11/06/7-thingsemployers-should-know-about-the-gen-z-workforce/#4ba152052188>
Generation Z 13
IDEAS+BUILDINGS THAT HONOR THE BROADER GOALS OF SOCIETY
INTERESTED? WANT TO LEARN MORE? CONTACT A WORKPLACE EXPERT: LISA POOL LISA.POOL@PERKINSWILL.COM -ORJESSICA WOLKOFF JESSICA.WOLKOFF@PERKINSWILL. COM perkinswill.com AMERICAS | ASIA | EUROPE | MIDDLE EAST | AFRICA