Gen Z, the generation born in the mid-1990s, is beginning to emerge into the workforce as interns and graduate employees. Poised to make up 24% of the global population by the end of 2020, what does it mean to be a Gen Zedder? And what should businesses understand about the new global workforce set to join the ‘real world’ over the coming years?
What makes them different
Today’s students are studying during a peak in mental health awareness; a unique context in comparison to student cohorts before them. This means that conversations around student mental wellbeing and understanding the importance of being open about mental health issues has increased too. As a result of this boost in awareness, Gen Z is far more health-conscious and wellness orientated than generations before them.
What businesses need to respond to
Therefore it is important for businesses to put in place schemes and initiatives to meet the wellbeing needs of the employees of tomorrow, ensuring a positive and supported workforce that reaps results.
This shift in Gen Z lifestyle was revealed in recent research we conducted, highlighting that students spend an average of 70% more on fresh produce (£36 p/w) to prepare healthy, home-cooked meals than on alcohol and dining out combined (£28 p/w), diminishing stigmas that may have previously surrounded student lifestyle.
This healthier mindset is further demonstrated through dietary preference, with 28% describing the diet they follow when cooking for themselves as flexitarian, and 14% as a vegetarian.
Wellbeing is a top priority
The importance of wellbeing remains prominent in all areas of Gen Z student life, from what course they choose to study, to the design of where they work and live.
Pro-wellbeing design is increasingly expected in business environments from Gen Zs, who want to work in well-designed workspaces that benefit their wellbeing, (think space, natural light and amenities), as well as their business acumen.
With a wealth of flexi-workspaces and shared working environments available to today’s workers, businesses should ensure they are thinking about the effects of their workplace design on prospective Gen Z employees, as well as the positive productivity benefits that such design can provide.
Job market changes
Social media provides a plethora of job prospects for students that would not have been viable twenty years ago. This is encouraging students to focus on the transferable skills obtained through their university career and flex their entrepreneurial capabilities to pave out their own futures.
Universities are aiding students in their quest to become the business leaders of tomorrow by offering an array of options that help them to develop themselves outside of academia. These opportunities strengthen skills such as creativity, innovation and drive, all traits that are vital in business. Of course, many also take the bigger step of starting their own businesses venture, helping to fast track their skills.
Tap into this new talent
Britain’s businesses should capitalise on the success that these entrepreneurial talents can bring to their company and should be excited by the impact the emerging Gen Z workforce can have on their enterprise, bringing a wealth of fresh entrepreneurial insight and creativity influenced by growing up in a socially driven culture.