Gen Z and The Future of Work: Embracing Diversity and Innovation

Gen Z and workplace diversity blog

As the youngest generation in the workforce, Gen Z (those born between 1997 and 2012) is bringing fresh perspectives and new ideas to the table. They have grown up in a more diverse, globalised, and connected world than ever before, shaping how they think about work and career opportunities. 

To stay competitive in the future, companies and organisations must embrace the diversity and innovation of their young workers; after all, by 2030, 30% of the global workforce will be Gen Z.

The diverse working style of Gen Z

Diversity is one of the great Gen Z characteristics they bring to the workplace. They are the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in history, and have grown up with a greater acceptance of different cultures, sexual orientations, and gender identities. A study by Wunderman Thompson showed that 48% of Gen Z’ers identify as “completely heterosexual” compared to 65% of Millenials.

This diversity in the workplace already has a positive impact, with studies showing that diverse teams are more creative and innovative. To fully capitalise on this diversity, companies must create an inclusive culture that embraces different perspectives and encourages open dialogue. They can achieve this through training programs, employee resource groups, and other initiatives that promote inclusivity.

Why is diversity so important to Gen Z?

Gen Z values the freedom they have to express themselves. Some ways they do so include:

  • Multicultural and Multigenerational perspective: Being the most diverse generation in terms of ethnicity, culture, race and sexual orientation, Gen Zers bring a unique perspective to the workplace, and they see diversity as a source of strength and creativity.
  • Seeking Inclusion: They actively seek out inclusive workplaces and are more likely to feel positive about a company that prioritises inclusion and diversity at work.
  • Advocating for equality: Gen Z tends to be vocal about advocating for equality and inclusion in the workplace and is likely to push for more progressive policies and initiatives in their organisations.
  • Challenging biases: They tend to be more aware of their own biases and are more likely to challenge them. Gen Z also has a lower tolerance for discriminatory or unjust actions and cultures.
  • Embracing differences: They tend to embrace differences among their co-workers and are more likely to build relationships and collaborate with people from diverse backgrounds.
  • Seeking mentors and role models from diverse backgrounds: They look for mentors and role models from diverse backgrounds, which can benefit employee development and the organisation.

Related Reading: Are You Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace?

The innovative working style of Gen Z 

Innovation is another key characteristic of Gen Z. They are a highly tech-savvy generation, having grown up in a world where technology is ubiquitous. In fact, 80% of Generation Z hope to work with cutting-edge technologies, and 91% cite technology as the most important factor when choosing a job. 

They are comfortable using digital tools and platforms and naturally inclined towards problem-solving and experimentation. This presents an opportunity for companies to harness the creativity and technical expertise of Gen Z to drive innovation in their operations and products. Companies that can create an innovative culture and provide opportunities for Gen Z to experiment and learn will be well-positioned to succeed in the future.

How are Gen Z workers innovative?

Another notable Gen Z characteristic is that they tend to embrace workplace innovation in various ways:

  • Open to new ideas: Gen Z workers are often open to new ideas and approaches and are willing to take risks and think outside the box. They tend to be curious, enjoy learning new things and are often excited about the latest technologies and trends.
  • Early adopters of technology: Gen Z is the first generation to have grown up with technology constantly present in their lives. They are naturally tech-savvy and are often early adopters of new technology. They are comfortable with using new tools and software and can learn new systems quickly.
  • Creative and Problem Solvers: Being exposed to technology and the internet in their upbringing, they have developed an innate ability to think creatively and solve problems. They tend to be imaginative and have a strong ability to work through challenges and develop new solutions.
  • Entrepreneurial mindset: Gen Z has an entrepreneurial mindset, and is always looking for ways to innovate and improve upon existing systems and processes. They are also open to taking on leadership roles and starting their own businesses.
  • Collaborative and inclusive: Gen Z values collaboration and inclusivity in the workplace, which can foster a culture of innovation. By bringing together different perspectives, experiences and skills, a diverse workforce can be a powerful driver of innovation.

Related Reading: What Workplace Technologies Will Transform Offices of the Future?

The future of working with Gen Z

In addition to embracing diversity and innovation, companies will also need to adapt to the changing work expectations of Gen Z. Many choose to work for companies that align with their values and have a strong sense of purpose. According to the 2020 Deloitte Global Millennial Survey, when choosing an employer, Gen Z emphasises purpose and values more than compensation and benefits, with 79% believing that business should positively impact society and not just maximise profits.

To attract and retain top talent from Gen Z, companies must offer flexible work arrangements, such as remote or hybrid working options and flexible schedules, and create a positive corporate culture that promotes a healthy work-life balance and emphasizes purpose and social responsibility.

The future of work is rapidly changing, and Gen Z is driving much of this change. Companies that can embrace diversity, innovation, and the changing expectations of Gen Z will be well-positioned to succeed in the years ahead. This will benefit the companies and also society as a whole with new ideas, new perspectives and more innovative ways of working.

To stay informed on the latest developments in ethical workplace practices, check out the Cloudbooking blog. Looking for a way to streamline collaboration and communication among your hybrid teams? Look no further than Cloudbooking’s desk booking and meeting room booking solutions. Interested in seeing these tools in action? Reach out to our team to schedule a free demonstration.

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