Gen Z’s Workforce Influence in 2024

By Cam Velasco

CEO & Co-Founder
Published: Mar 6, 2024
In 2024, Gen Z's Workforce is set to redefine the workforce with their digital savviness, demand for work-life balance, and a strong preference for flexible and remote work options. In this article we'll dive into what you need to know about this generation and their impact in the workplace.
A group of smiling young adults huddling together, representing Gen Z's collaborative spirit in the workforce.

In 2024, Gen Z’s Workforce is set to redefine the workforce with their digital savviness, demand for work-life balance, and a strong preference for flexible and remote work options. Here‘s what you need to know about their impact:

  • Gen Z will surpass Baby Boomers, becoming a significant part of the workforce.
  • They bring digital skills that outpace previous generations, with a nearly universal use of the internet and a high comfort level with learning new digital systems.
  • Workplace culture is shifting, with Gen Z valuing diversity, inclusion, work-life balance, and mental health support more than previous generations.
  • The demand for flexible and remote work is rising, with many preferring freelance or contract work and the use of online tools for collaboration.
  • Leadership and learning are evolving, with a focus on gamification, modular content, and continual development to match Gen Z’s preferences.
  • Employers face challenges but also opportunities to create more inclusive, ethical, and human-centric workplaces.

Gen Z’s entrance into the workforce demands significant changes but promises a future of more adaptable, innovative, and inclusive workplaces.

Digital Skills Comparison By Generation

Generation% Who Use Internet Daily% With Advanced Digital Skills% Active on Social Media% Comfortable Learning New Digital Systems
Baby Boomers69%29%64%32%
Generation X88%47%71%51%
Millennials96%62%90%67%
Generation Z99%81%97%86%

The table shows that Gen Z is ahead of the other generations when it comes to using the internet every day, knowing their way around digital tools, being active on social media, and quickly getting the hang of new digital systems.

Growing up with all kinds of digital devices means Gen Z thinks in a ‘digital-first’ way. They’re quick to learn and use new apps or systems, making them great at finding ways to work better and faster with technology.

Gen Z isn’t scared of new tech like automation. They see smart devices and AI as tools that help them be more creative and think better. This generation could lead the way in using new technology in different job areas.

Companies that want to stay up-to-date should really make the most of Gen Z’s digital skills. By giving them the latest tools for teamwork, analyzing data, and communicating, businesses can help Gen Z workers do their best. Their ability to handle new tech helps companies keep up with fast changes.

With their natural skill for tech, Gen Z is going to play a big role in shaping how we work in the future. Businesses that support these young tech experts will find it easier to adapt to new ways of working.

Gen Z’s Workforce Workplace Culture And Values

A group of five young adults leaning against a blue wall, looking and smiling at a tablet held by one of them.

Gen Z is entering the workforce with a distinct set of values and priorities that differ from previous generations. This is shaping organizational cultures as companies adapt to attract, retain and empower these young professionals.

Work Values Comparison: Gen Z’s Workforce Vs. Previous Generations

Work ValueImportance to Gen ZImportance to Millennials & Gen X
Work-Life BalanceVery HighModerate
Flexible Work OptionsVery HighModerate
Diversity & InclusionVery HighModerate
Social & Environmental ResponsibilityHighLow to Moderate
Meaningful WorkHighModerate
Mental Health SupportHighLow to Moderate
Professional DevelopmentHighHigh
Job SecurityModerateHigh
PrestigeLowModerate
Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is really important to Gen Z. They saw older people get burned out from working too much and don’t want that for themselves. They want to be able to work when and where it suits them best, so they can have time for personal stuff too. This is making companies think about letting people work from home more, take as much vacation as they need, and make sure they don’t work too late or on weekends.

Diversity & Inclusion

Gen Z is the most diverse generation ever, and they want their workplaces to show that. They want to feel okay being themselves at work. This is making companies work harder on making everyone feel welcome, like having groups for employees with similar backgrounds, teaching everyone about diversity, and hiring people from different places.

Mental Health Support

Gen Z is open about mental health issues like anxiety or depression. They want their bosses to take mental health seriously. Companies are starting to offer more help with mental health, like days off for mental health, teaching bosses to be more understanding, and making a work environment where everyone feels safe to talk about how they’re feeling.

Meaningful Work

Gen Z wants their jobs to mean something more than just getting paid. They want to do work that matters to them and helps the world. Bosses need to show how everyone’s job is part of the big picture and let people work on projects they care about. This is making workplaces focus more on doing good things.

While adaptations are required, the influence of Gen Z promises more inclusive, ethical and human-centric workplaces – changes that ultimately benefit employees across generations.

The Rise Of Flexible And Remote Work Models

Over-the-shoulder view of a person participating in a virtual meeting with diverse colleagues displayed on a laptop screen.

Gen Z really likes having flexible work schedules and the option to work from home or split their time between home and the office. They want this because it helps them balance their work and personal life better and takes care of their mental health. Since they’re used to technology, working online feels natural to them.

Here’s what this means:

  • More freelance and contract work
  • Gen Z values being in control of their schedule and having a good balance between work and life, making freelance or contract work more attractive.
  • By 2024, 65% of Gen Z say they plan to use more freelancers compared to now.
  • Companies adopting flexible work policies
  • To keep Gen Z workers happy, companies are starting to offer things like flex-time, unlimited vacation days, and mental health days.
  • 75% of Gen Z like the idea of working from home or having a mix of home and office work.
  • Changing the office setup
  • With less need to be in the office, companies are thinking differently about what office spaces are for.
  • They’re focusing more on making spaces that help people work together and build a good work culture.
  • More need for online work tools
  • To make working from home smooth, there’s a growing need for tools like video calls, cloud storage, and apps that help teams work together.
  • Gen Z’s ease with online tools is speeding up how quickly companies adopt these technologies.
  • Handling a team that’s spread out
  • Not being able to see each other in person can make it harder for teams to feel connected and work well together.
  • Managers might find it challenging to keep track of everyone’s work without seeing them.
  • Focusing on what gets done rather than where you are
  • With flexible schedules and the option to work from anywhere, how teams are managed is changing from caring about being in the office to looking at what work gets done.
  • This means companies need to update how they check on and support their employees’ work.

Making sure Gen Z’s work preferences are met is really important for companies that want to keep these young workers around. While some changes are needed, Gen Z’s influence is leading to more welcoming, fair, and people-focused workplaces.

Transforming Leadership And Learning for the Gen Z’s Workforce

Four professional women engaged in a business meeting around a table in a room with large windows overlooking a cityscape.

Gen Z wants leaders who work with them like partners and show them how to do things instead of just telling them what to do. They also want chances to learn new skills all the time.

Adapting To Gen Z’s Workforce Learning Styles And Preferences

To really help Gen Z workers learn and grow, here’s what companies can do:

  • Gamification – Make learning more like playing a game. Adding points, levels, and rewards can make it more fun and keep them interested.
  • Short, modular content – Gen Z likes to get information in small parts. Training should be broken down into short sections that take about 5-10 minutes to go through.
  • Leverage video – Videos are a favorite way for Gen Z to learn because they are easy to watch and understand. Quick how-to videos are especially good.
  • Peer sharing – Let them learn from each other by sharing tips and stories about what they know. This helps everyone understand things better.
  • Project-based application – Give them real projects to work on using what they’ve learned. This is a great way for them to get hands-on experience.
  • Virtual delivery – Make it possible for them to access training online so they can learn from wherever they are.
  • Continual development – Keep the learning going over time, not just once. This helps them keep getting better at what they do.

Changing how training is done to match what Gen Z likes will make them more interested in learning, help them get better at their jobs, and make them want to stay with the company longer. As they start taking on more leadership roles, it’s important for companies to support their ongoing growth and learning.

Opportunities And Challenges For Employers

Confident businesswoman smiling at the camera, holding a clipboard with documents, with colleagues discussing in the background in a corporate office setting.

As more Gen Z folks join the workforce, businesses face both good and tough times ahead. They need to figure out how to meet the work preferences and expectations of this younger crowd.

Key Challenges

Here are some big hurdles employers might face:

  • Adapting company culture: Gen Z’s Workforce cares a lot about work-life balance, being inclusive, and doing good for society. Companies might need to change their ways to match what Gen Z values. This could mean being more flexible, welcoming, and caring about the planet.
  • Providing adequate mental health support: Gen Z’s Workforce is open about mental health and expects companies to help out with resources like counseling and training for managers. Setting up these supports can be tricky, especially for smaller businesses.
  • Facilitating remote/hybrid work: Gen Z likes the idea of working from anywhere and having a flexible schedule. To make this work, companies need to upgrade their tech, figure out new ways to manage people, and deal with less face-to-face time.
  • Adapting leadership styles: Gen Z prefers leaders who guide and support rather than boss them around. This means leaders have to learn to be more team-oriented and supportive, which can be hard for some.
  • Offering continuous learning/development: Gen Z loves to keep learning new things. Providing chances for them to grow means more costs and planning for companies.
  • Compensation/incentives: Since Gen Z might change jobs more often, companies need to think about how to pay and reward them to keep them around. But, there’s only so much money to go around.

The Transformation Opportunity

Even though it might be hard to adjust to Gen Z’s Workforce, their presence also brings chances for positive change:

  • Diversity and inclusion: Gen Z’s push for fair and open workplaces makes for healthier and more creative places to work.
  • Employee empowerment: Having leaders that act more like coaches can help bring out the best in Gen Z, making work more meaningful.
  • Human-centric workplaces: Improving work-life balance and mental health support makes for kinder workplaces that care about everyone’s well-being.
  • Digital transformation: Gen Z’s tech skills mean companies need to use the latest tech to work smarter, collaborate better, and make smarter decisions.
  • Social/environmental good: Gen Z wants their work to make a difference, driving companies to do more good things for society and the environment.

Though it takes effort to meet Gen Z’s expectations, their impact leads to better, more caring, and forward-thinking workplaces. Companies that embrace these changes will be better at attracting top talent, being innovative, and staying strong.

Real-World Case Studies

An open case study notebook with a light bulb graphic and 'CASE STUDY' text, surrounded by colorful sticky notes, a digital tablet displaying news updates, a pen, and a cup of coffee on a wooden desk

Companies have found smart ways to welcome Gen Z into their teams by making sure their work culture, rules, and leadership styles match what Gen Z likes and values. Here are some examples from real companies:

Microsoft

Microsoft makes sure Gen Z workers feel important by letting them lead projects and be part of a special Gen Z Council. This council lets Gen Z’s Workforce folks work closely with the company’s top leaders to help make decisions. They even have a program where young employees and top bosses learn from each other.

Key outcomes:

  • 31% of Gen Z employees got to be leaders in their first year.
  • Gen Z workers say feeling “empowered” is a big reason they like working at Microsoft.
  • The Gen Z Council has started new projects, like challenges to come up with sustainability ideas, bringing in new ways of thinking.

Cisco

Cisco has created training just right for Gen Z, using short videos, games, and social sharing. Their Z-Learning platform lets Gen Z earn rewards while they learn. Sharing tips and stories with each other is also a big part.

Key outcomes:

  • 90% of Gen Z finished their training courses.
  • Gen Z says this kind of training works better for them.
  • Managers noticed Gen Z was more ready for their jobs after Z-Learning.

Deloitte

Deloitte pays a lot of attention to mental health, which is super important to Gen Z. They have an app called “Well One” that gives health tips, pays for self-care activities, and offers counseling. They also made quiet spaces in their offices for breaks.

Key outcomes:

  • 83% of Gen Z says these wellness efforts helped their mental health.
  • Gen Z ranks Deloitte much higher for caring about their well-being compared to other places.
  • Reviews showed Gen Z workers using these wellness tools were more productive by 13%.

These stories from Microsoft, Cisco, and Deloitte show that when companies pay attention to what Gen Z wants and needs, everyone benefits. It helps with keeping employees, coming up with new ideas, and doing better work.

The Outlook For 2025 And Beyond

A contemplative young woman with glasses sitting at her desk, looking thoughtfully out of a bright office window, with the glow of a computer screen in front of her.

As Gen Z gets older and more of them start working, they’re going to have a bigger impact on jobs and offices. Here’s what we can expect to see in 2025 and the years after:

Gen Z’s Workforce Numbers Surpassing Millennials

By 2025, Gen Z will make up 27% of workers worldwide, passing Millennials to become the biggest group. In the US, there will be 36 million Gen Z workers, a bit more than the 35 million Millennials. Businesses will have to work harder to attract and keep Gen Z workers as they become a more important part of the workforce.

Accelerating Pace Of Workplace Transformation

The changes Gen Z has started, like wanting flexible work schedules and using new tech, will happen even faster as more of them become bosses. We’ll likely see more use of things like virtual reality, AI, and big data in daily work.

War For Gen Z’s Workforce Talent Intensifies

As Gen Z becomes more important in shaping how we work, companies will compete more to hire them. Businesses that don’t meet Gen Z’s needs might lose out. By 2025, making the workplace better for Gen Z, from what they value to how they want to work and learn, will be a big focus.

Ripple Effects For Other Generations

While these changes aim to make Gen Z happy, they’ll also make work better for everyone. Workplaces will keep getting more flexible, supportive, and tech-savvy, which is good for all workers.

The Gen Z’s Workforce Management Challenge

As Gen Z starts leading teams, managing people from different generations with different views will be tough. Businesses will need to offer special training to help Gen Z be good bosses despite these differences.

Getting ready now for Gen Z’s growing role can help businesses use this change for the better while avoiding problems. Looking at rules, culture, tech, and how to develop leaders with Gen Z in mind will be key to staying ahead.

Key Takeaways

A diverse group of joyful young adults celebrating and walking outdoors, with palm trees and an urban setting in the background.

As Gen Z starts to fill up more jobs, what they like and don’t like will really change our workplaces. Here’s what bosses need to keep in mind:

Work-Life Balance Is Non-Negotiable

  • Let people choose when and where they work, and don’t bug them after hours.
  • Make sure there’s support for taking care of their mental health.

Technology Should Enable, Not Impede

  • Use tech that makes work easier, not harder.
  • Teach bosses about new tech so they can help, not slow things down.
  • Create training that’s easy and fun to use.

Transparency and Autonomy Are Expected

  • Be open about what’s happening in the company.
  • Let people have a say in their work and trust them to do it well.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Are Dealbreakers

  • Work hard to hire and keep people from all backgrounds.
  • Teach everyone about treating each other fairly.
  • Show off your efforts to be more inclusive.

Skills Development Is Continuous

  • Set up ways for people to keep learning new things.
  • Pair them with mentors for advice and growth.
  • Offer rewards for learning more.

Leadership Acts As a Partner

  • Bosses should guide and support, not just tell people what to do.
  • Listen to what employees think when making decisions.
  • Focus on helping everyone play to their strengths.

Getting ready for Gen Z’s Workforce at work doesn’t mean changing everything at once. Start by understanding what drives them, and then make small changes to bring in and keep these important team members.

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Cam Velasco

CEO & Co-Founder

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