The workplace prior to the pandemic is unrecognizable to what it has become today. The rise of remote working and a younger digitally native workforce, is shaking up traditional business structures. Many organizations are still adapting their workspaces to cope and in some instances need to overhaul their approach to work entirely.
These younger and more digitally adept employees will represent over a quarter of the workforce in 2025. These employees are looking for more flexibility, and a better work-life balance from businesses, something leaders will need to pay attention to if they want to retain current talent and attract future employees.
A new generation means new attitudes
The way we work, and the way we view work, have changed. Gen Z’s views on employment differ wildly from previous generations: they consider a job as a way of progressing their own development. Once achieved, they move on to a new role and possibly a new employer, especially if they feel that the business is no longer aligned with their needs and values.
To ensure the work environment is fit for Gen Z’s way of working, businesses need to take an employee-centric approach that empowers their employees through digital workplace technologies. Creating a modern workplace where they feel empowered to use their skills to the best of their ability by taking a holistic, inclusive approach will help them to contribute to a business’s overall success.
Leveraging native skillsets
The cliché that Gen Zs were born with a smartphone in their hand is a direct reflection of the implicit digital skillsets that this generation is growing up with. Roles like Coders, App Developers, and DevOps Engineers are more likely to be filled by digital natives who often have an implicit understanding of how to leverage emerging technologies in ways that older generations do not.
As a result, businesses must appeal to digital natives across a range of factors. They are the ones with highly in-demand skillsets, but rarely wish to work in a ‘command and control’ environment. A modern workspace that allows for hybrid working practices and promotes collaboration is a key tool and critical feature to help drive talent attraction and retention.
The digital generation’s workplace
With the workforce becoming younger and more jobs needing digital skills, business leaders should ask themselves: why not shape our workplace to cater to the digital generation? Of course, this doesn’t mean discounting the older generations! However, it does mean being flexible and adapting to the fresh style of working. With this approach, businesses can accommodate every generation, and avoid neglecting certain demographics.
By being flexible, businesses avoid the more inflexible, old-fashioned corporate structures from the past and enable employees to work the way that suits them. Hybrid working is a central feature of the workplace for Gen Z and millennials. To retain staff, businesses must empower staff to work from anywhere while making contributions to discussions and collaborating with colleagues. This employee centricity will attract workers from every generation, boosting morale, improving engagement, and driving company culture.
Bob Bailkoski is the CEO of Logicalis Group.