In the last couple of years, the nature of work has changed and the expectations of employees of all ages altered. However, as Generation Z continue to enter the workplace, business leaders need to be prepared for a further shift. 

This time, it is not triggered by outside circumstances – but by a shift in mentality. As a generation who have grown up almost completely in an age of tech-enabled solutions, Gen Z exponents will not see businesses that refuse to embrace innovation as an attractive option for future careers. 

Requests of stale, unfulfilling work will fall on disappointed ears, as this is a generation that is keen to find fulfilment and a greater purpose in work.

Recent research found that a quarter (25%) of UK workers say they spend more than 20% of their day-to-day roles doing repetitive jobs, numbers that just won’t be accepted by Gen Z. Additionally, the generation is one that is experiencing a number of significant stresses that take a toll on their mental health. 

Current figures, such as 50% of workers having experienced mental health issues in the last three years- with 48% citing uninteresting work as a reason for these issues – could soon be exacerbated if workplaces do not adapt. 

Transformative power

There’s a lot we can learn from Gen Z’s attitudes to work – in particular, their approach to creativity and upskilling. These new perspectives could completely transform the way every future generation works for the better. 

Gen Z is eager to work creatively and isn’t willing to put up with monotonous jobs. Instead of seeing this as stubbornness, it is an opportunity for businesses to take stock of their own imagination  and adopt new mindsets, helping their employees to become more original and imaginative.

Innovation can’t happen in a vacuum, and it can’t happen when capable minds are having their days taken up by work which could otherwise be handled by automation. For example, if digital documents can be filed into the correct folders automatically, workers can invest more time in the actual content of the documents – thinking about purpose and the bigger picture. 

By taking on Gen Z’s refusal to put up with tedious tasks, businesses get the chance to step back and problem-solve from a better and more informed vantage point. 

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Employee wellbeing

Unfortunately, although they are some of the most well-informed members of the tech world, Gen Z are also suffering from the consequences of this. Social pressures that come with the frequent use of apps like Instagram and TikTok have exacerbated mental health issues across the board, leaving 70% of Gen Z experiencing anxiety and depression. 

The mental health situation of workers in the UK overall is not far off, and their job dissatisfaction cannot be making a positive contribution.

For too long, working extended hours doing tedious tasks has been deemed evidence of a ‘good’ employee, but presenteeism is not an accurate measure of an employee’s productivity – and promoting it can cause real harm and lead to burnout. To put the focus on employee wellbeing, businesses should begin deploying automation in order to allow workers to finish their assignments without working into overtime.

Gen Z wants their work to be meaningful. Today’s young people have less of a tolerance for mundanity, unrealistic workloads and unvaried tasks that only increase stress and mental health issues. Companies must adapt or lose out when it comes to next generation talent.

Closing thoughts

The pandemic completely altered the way most of us work, but for the generation now entering the workforce – it’s the only way they know. The normality of hybrid working or working remotely has meant flexibility is incredibly important to them and transitioning into adulthood in a time of ultimate uncertainty has given them the confidence to quit if they are not satisfied with the work conditions they’ve been offered. 

For Gen Z, technology has been present throughout every step of their lives, and their tech-first mindsets can be an incredibly useful tool for business looking to increase efficiency while keeping morale and innovation high.

If organisations want to thrive in this new market, embracing fresh perspectives and automation to boost the time spent being creative is key, bettering business while taking care of employees.

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