Generation Z (those born between 1997-2012) are still finding their feet in the workplace. Many of these young workers are only now emerging out of university, adjusting their eyes to what life is really like.
But what is their biggest work woe? While it may sound superficial, research by recruiter, Milkround has found that almost two-thirds of Generation Z feel judged based on their appearance at work, and more than a third actively worry about being ridiculed for their clothes.
But this is no mere hysteria from Generation Z, as 15% of this section of the workforce has received negative comments from their colleagues concerning what they wear.
1. They spend a lot on work clothes
Gen Zs are facing major prejudice from employers on what they wear to job interviews. In fact, 75% of HR managers have admitted to writing someone off for a role based on how they were dressed at the interview stage.
What appears to be the issue here? Surely job candidates are not rocking up in ripped skinny jeans and a crop top? Nevertheless, the average Gen Z employee spends approx £1,189,20 per year on work clothes to keep up with office standards, this is 160% more than baby-boomers who spend just £457.20 a year.
Such statistics have even triggered a response from ex-love-islander Zara McDermott “as a member of Generation Z, I am lucky that I am now, more than ever able to express myself through the way I present myself. Fashion, hairstyle and even makeup can be adapted to mirror how I want to look to the outside world. However, in some environments – like the workplace – people judge others that choose to express themselves through these means and this has happened to me in my work in the government and still now in a more creative medium.”
And while Zara may have gotten an out by turning her hand the more voyeuristic career of an Instagram influencer, the working majority have to face office anxiety around whether black jeans and a pair of pumps are ‘too edgy’ or not. This is despite trends showing that productivity increases by 61% when workers can choose what they want to wear.
2. They like to work differently
Trends suggest that millennial workers’ successors are more direct with what they want from their workplace. For example, 43% of Generation Z prefer a fully self-directed and independent approach to learning, meaning they are less likely to tolerate the micro-management style those before they have had to endure.
3. They are budget savvy and confident
This is a generation that has the largest digital footprint out there. Before many of these new workers had even left primary school they had more than two social media accounts, a smartphone and a thriving online social presence. However, they are also a generation who lived through the catastrophic economic recession, with many watching their parents being made redundant and struggle with debt and financial difficulty. From a young age, they, therefore, learned the value of being money savvy and the importance of what it means to have a career.
Gen Z employee are a new genre of workers, they are employees who are not afraid to get stuck in, nor are they nervous about asking for what they want.