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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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A Humble Note To Helicopter Parents And Hyperpaternity Dads: We're Born To Fail

One thing's for sure, whether you have children or not: You are bound to make mistakes, experience frustration and learn things the hard way. The key is to gradually understand how to live with it.

Photo of a child's leg with two band-aids

Double ouch

Nathan Dumlao/Unsplash
Ignacio Pereyra

"Whatever you do, you won't do it well". Sentences like that tend to feel like a relief as a father (and in life in general). Sometimes I think I worry (obsess?) too much about being the best parent I can be.

I also end up spending too much time caring about what others think about me as a father — be it my children, my partner or a random person in the park.

That initial sentence is all the more calming considering it was uttered by someone who really knows what they're talking about: the mother of Spanish artists David and Fernando Trueba, a woman who raised six more kids to boot.

In fact, I came across this sentence via an article about hyperpaternity* in Spain’s El Periódico, which helped me think more about how to raise children.

"We are having fewer children, and we are having them later. Children are thus ever precious beings. [...] A status symbol, a reflection of their parents. Raising children, which is something natural and instinctive, has professionalised. We plan each second of our lives around our kids," says journalist Eva Millet.

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