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Work In Progress

Work → In Progress: Gen Z And The Workplace, It’s Complicated

Gen Z, those 26 and younger, are entering the workforce. Their lives and values differ drastically from older generations, forcing employers to rethink how they work.

Work → In Progress: Gen Z And The Workplace, It’s Complicated

"There is a generation gap in the approach to work between those under and over 35."

Ginevra Falciani, Bertrand Hauger and Emma Albright

There are a lot of ideas around Gen Z in the workplace. There's a wide range of opinions: they're sometimes described as lazy and other times as promising. Born between 1997 and 2012, this generation is the most diverse in history, and its values have been shaped by growing up alongside various crises, including the climate crisis.

A recent article was published in Forbes France looked at how companies must now adapt to the new generation coming into the workforce. More than half of the young people from Gen Z currently at work say they are not satisfied with their job and their work/life balance. As a result, the turnover has never been so high and costly for companies.

So in order to attract young talent, companies must stay up to date with modern ways of work, including hybrid work, 4-day weeks, intrapreneurship (behaving like an entrepreneur while working in a large organization), and a collaborative work environment.

This edition of Work → In Progress looks at what the rest of the world is doing to integrate Gen Z in the world of work.

Japanese company makes space for employees to be influencers

Mitsui & Co, a major Japanese trading company, has relaxed its rules to allow employees to pursue side careers, such as being an influencer or an artist. It's hoping to keep workers who are demanding more flexible work rules.

Some jokes can be offensive, and according to them, unprofessional.

Some Japanese firms like car-maker Nissan already allow side jobs. This is an attractive draw for university graduates when combined with the high salaries and job security they offer.

Gen Z has different work values

Influenced by the pandemic and strong social values, Gen Z consider the workplace differently than other generations. LinkedIn’s CEO, Barbara Wittman, led research on work relations, and shares some insights in the German newspaper Die Welt. Wittman explains that COVID was particularly hard for Gen Z who entered the job market as the pandemic was starting and now have to deal with issues such as inflation.

They will be less likely to appreciate jokes at work, for example, as they are aware of the fact that some jokes can be offensive, and according to them, unprofessional. Wittman states that older manager should be aware of those new trends to be able to treat their new workers accordingly so that they are more likely to stay.

Stat du Jour

A new study led by U.S. HR research center Cangrade shows that Gen Z appears to be the generation that’s the most unhappy at work, with 1 in 4 voicing their dissatisfaction — and 17% of the Gen Z workforce are thinking about quitting their job.

Italian research

“Generation Z's view of the corporate world” is a study conducted by OSM Edu Observatory with responses from more than 1,300 high school students in Italy. 89% consider it essential to find a mentor in a company, while 15% of young people expect a workplace where they can follow training courses and have the opportunity to build a career.

For 82.8%, it is more important to achieve a great goal that will have more than just a financial reward. 92.4% are aware that commitment is key and want jobs where meritocracy is valued. The report also reveals that for Gen Z, it is to also very important to do good for the planet by working in companies with an ethical footprint and clear social values.

Prioritizing happiness

A new study conducted by Randstad, one of the biggest employment agencies in the world, involving 35,000 people aged between 18 and 67 from 34 different countries, highlighted a generation gap in the approach to work between those under and over 35.

While personal life is more important to most respondents than career, this is especially true for Gen Z and millennials (aged 25-40), who put happiness first: 56% of them said they would quit their jobs if it prevented them from "enjoying life", compared to 38% in the 55-67 age group. Being satisfied with one's employment is also a priority, with 40% of Gen Z young people preferring to be unemployed rather than doing a job they don't like.

Odd Job

The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish wildlife agency recently posted on social media that they were looking to hire “professional bear huggers” and “professional deer protectors” — in a humorous hunt to fill conservation officer positions. The candidates, the post read, “must have ability to hike in strenuous conditions, have the courage to crawl into a bear den, and have the trust in your coworkers to keep you safe during the process.”

Both Millennials and Gen Z are stressed.

A way to escape stress in the UAE

Spotify has released the UAE edition of its annual global cultures and trends reports, which explores the behavioral patterns and mindsets of their largest audience segment, Gen Z. Mark Abou Jaoude, Spotify’s head of music in the Middle East and North Africa, told Arab News that while both Millennials and Gen Z are stressed, the latter has been worse affected by the financial crisis of 2008 and the COVID epidemic,

Respondents revealed that they turned to podcasts to audio — music and podcasts — to help with stress. 59% of people aged 18 to 24 in the UAE said they turn to podcasts to get answers to hard or personal questions before consulting their families, while 66% said they listen to podcasts to have more interesting conversations with their friends.

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

After The War, After Abbas: Who's Most Likely To Be The Future Palestinian Leader

Israel and the West have often asked bitterly: Where is the Palestinian Mandela? The divided regimes between Gaza and the West Bank continues to make it difficult to imagine the future Palestinian leader. Still, these three names are worth considering.

Photograph of Palestinian artists working on a mural that shows the  jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghout. A little girl watches them work.

April 12, 2023: Palestinian artists work by a mural shows jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza.

Nidal Al-Wahidi/ZUMA
Elias Kassem

Israel has set two goals for its Gaza war: destroying Hamas and releasing hostages.

But it has no answer to, nor is even asking the question: What comes next?

The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected the return of the current Palestinian Authority to govern post-war Gaza. That stance seems opposed to the U.S. Administration’s call to revitalize the Palestinian Authority (PA) to assume power in the coastal enclave.

For the latest news & views from every corner of the world, Worldcrunch Today is the only truly international newsletter. Sign up here.

But neither Israel nor the U.S. put a detailed plan for a governing body in post-war Gaza, let alone offering a vision for a bonafide Palestinian state that would also encompass the West Bank.

The Palestinian Authority, which administers much of the occupied West Bank, was created in1994 as part of the Oslo Accords peace agreement. It’s now led by President Mahmoud Abbas, who succeeded Yasser Arafat in 2005. Over the past few years, the question of who would succeed Abbas, now 88 years old, has largely dominated internal Palestinian politics.

But that question has gained new urgency — and was fundamentally altered — with the war in Gaza.

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