Is Your Office Ready For ‘Generation Z’?

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Millennial workers are causing businesses significant technology-related challenges, Ricoh Europe report warns

The increasing rise of younger workers into businesses across the UK may be set to cause significant friction across the workplace, according to new research.

That’s according to a survey from Ricoh Europe, which found that younger ‘millennial’ workers are being under-served by their employers, and are often stereotyped into one group that fails to get the most out of their potential.

This ‘Generation Z’ marks the first time that four generations of workers have inhabited the office all at once, raising some potentially tricky issues for bosses around the country.

Culture clash

technology in the workplaceThe survey, which questioned 3,300 people in 22 countries, found that over a third (35 percent) of older employees expect workplace tensions to increase with the arrival of Generation Z into their companies.

This tension will result from a number of issues, Ricoh Europe found, including the younger worker’s constant demand for the latest technology in order to allow them to stay ahead of their game.

But it also concerns how the different age groups work and interact, with 65 percent of respondents agree there are ‘fundamental differences’ there.

This includes face-to-face communication, which was preferred by only 58 percent among Generation Z compared to 77 percent among Baby Boomers.

Meanwhile, 73 percent of Generation Z respondents believe their future employer will cater to their needs, opposed to only 48 percent of the other three generations.

Overall, more than half of workers (52 percent) say their employers are failing to meet the needs of different generations in the workplace. This is despite the majority of workers (88 percent) believe that having a workforce of different ages is an asset to a company.

“Just like the possibilities afforded by digitalisation, the arrival of Gen Zers opens a catalogue of opportunities to all businesses,” said David Mills, CEO of Ricoh Europe.

“There is no doubt that Gen Z is heading towards a reality crunch and businesses must adapt now. Trying to squeeze employees – particularly Gen Z – into the same traditional ways of working, and forcing them to use the same tools, simply will not work. People are often the biggest differentiator for an organisation and the most successful companies will be those who can empower and engage all generations in their workforce – from the most experienced through to the youngest rising star.”

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