Ready or not, they are here. Just when you thought you finally had a handle on the whole Millennial thing, Generation Z is at the door. Demographers point to the mid-90s as the dawn of Gen Z, so those babies begin entering the workforce this year. Why is that important and what does it have to do with telecommunications? Because to hire and keep these new employees, companies are going to have to change the way they operate, and part of that involves the way they use technology.
Gen Z has never known a world without email and has had access to the Internet and social media since birth. They think and write in bursts of 140 characters or short-handed text messages and often view email as something that belongs to their parents’ generation. Corporate communications methods, and telecommunications systems, are going to have to adjust to this upbringing. Long, rambling emails or voicemails are not going to be effective with this group. The shift will be to short, digestible messages across multiple platforms—texting, social media, Skype, and more.
But don’t think that this digital lifestyle means Gen Z are impersonal. In fact, studies have shown they prefer face-to-face contact in the workplace. They may thrive on short, to-the-point messages, but they also want in-person, or at least FaceTime or Skype, meetings which require the latest technology and mobile devices. A survey of Millennial workers last year by Penn Schoen Berland found that 42% would consider “substandard technology” a valid reason to leave a job. That number is expected to increase with Gen Z workers.
While perks like ping-pong tables, in-house chefs, and free food were big with the .com crowd and Millennials, Gen Z are more practical. A 2015 Entrepreneur magazine survey found that 79% of university students were more concerned with getting a job than following their passion. With student loan debt hanging over their heads they value financial rewards and career advancement.
More than anything, though, workplace flexibility is the number one benefit that Generation Z are looking for in their careers. Gen Z are willing to put in long hours, but not necessarily in the typical 9-5 timeframe. While they value their work/life balance and want to be able to work when they want, where they want, only 34% of organizations surveyed currently offer that kind of workplace mobility and flexibility.
For a company to offer true workplace flexibility it needs a telecommunications system capable of interacting with multiple devices across multiple locations. TEC’s VoIP service, TEC Flex, delivers the foundation necessary for an efficient unified communications plan, a “bring-your-own-device” policy, and a truly flexible and mobile workplace. Give TEC a call today and let us help you begin preparing for Gen Z.