How Are Gen-Z Shaping The Future Of Technology, Culture & Work? (2024)

Matt Briggs

It’s clear that technology, culture and the workplace are rapidly changing. 

What’s not so clear is the impact that the digitally-native Gen-Z, are having on our society. In a previous blog post, we delved into the impact that technology is having on Gen-Z, but we didn’t explore the significant impact that this generation is having on technology and subsequently, society, culture and the workplace.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the ways in which the new generation have already impacted technology and culture and take a look at future predictions to see how your business can prepare for the inevitable change that will come in the next decade.

Digitally-native generation

Gen-Z (those born between 1997 and 2012) are the first generation to never have experienced life without the internet and as a result, they are the first truly digitally-native generation who can access information at lightning-fast speed and without stress. Gen-Z’s impact on technology is not yet fully understood, largely due to the recency of the generation and the fact that they’re only just making their mark on industry as they enter the workforce. However, recent academic studies are beginning to reveal the influence that Gen-Z has already had on technology and we’re eager to find out what that is!

Technological proficiency

Gen-Z are the most technologically proficient that any other generation before them. They are extremely tech savvy as they have been exposed to technology from a very young age and they also have a very strong sense of social and environmental responsibility, much more than their predecessors. This technological proficiency has manifested itself in demands for automation, digital communication and less human contact and interaction than we’ve ever experienced.

Workplace demands & expectations

As brands tend to target the youngest generations in a bid to gain market share and build brand loyalty from the teenage and young adult years, the biggest brands are adapting their marketing, sales and business strategies to better suit the wants, needs and preferences of Gen-Z. They are being led by a generation that prioritises digital communication as opposed to face-to-face interactions, adopting social media-style marketing tactics and leveraging the intrinsic tendencies of this generation to grow their businesses.

Naturally, workplaces are significantly changing as a result of the changing demands of the new generation. Here are a few ways that businesses are adapting to the change in employee behaviour;

  • With the rise of remote work trends accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, brands are increasingly embracing virtual interactions to facilitate collaboration and communication among employees. Leveraging technologies such as video conferencing platforms, messaging apps, and project management tools allows for seamless communication and collaboration regardless of physical location. Post-pandemic, the flexibility and convenience of remote work are likely to remain attractive to both employees and employers, making it essential for businesses to invest in robust virtual communication infrastructures.
  • Many organisations are providing employees with the option to create personalised avatars for internal communications to add a fun and interactive element to virtual interactions. Avatars can help foster a sense of identity and engagement among employees, especially in remote or distributed teams. Additionally, avatars can be customised to reflect individual preferences and personalities, enhancing the overall experience of virtual meetings and collaborations and ensuring that Gen-Z can express themselves within the workplace.
  • For Gen Z, communication through technology is second nature. Whether it’s texting, messaging apps or social media platforms, digital communication channels are integral to how they connect with friends, family, and colleagues. As such, businesses must adapt their communication strategies to meet Gen Z’s preferences, leveraging digital platforms and multimedia content to engage and interact with this tech-savvy generation effectively. The key challenge here will be bridging the gap between colleagues from older generations who prefer to work in traditional ways.
  • Virtual team-building activities, online social events, and digital collaboration tools can help bridge the gap and cultivate a sense of belonging and camaraderie among team members. By leveraging technology to facilitate social interaction, businesses can promote employee well-being, reduce feelings of isolation, and strengthen team cohesion, ultimately contributing to a more positive and supportive work culture.
  • 42% of Gen-Z workers prioritise flexibility and a healthy work-life balance when searching for a job. In many cases, salary expectations are lower than previous generations as Gen-Z prefer to prioritise their holistic lifestyle as opposed to monetary remuneration. Employers are much more likely to offer flexible working hours, work from home days and wellbeing days to ensure they retain their top talent.

The coronavirus pandemic

Of course, we can’t discuss the impact of Gen-Z on technology without acknowledging the elephant in the room; the pandemic! Since the coronavirus pandemic back in 2020, technology, workplaces and culture has naturally has to adapt, pivot and shift anyway. Technology enabled more prevalent digital communication, shifted consumer behaviour from shopping in supermarkets to shopping online and made remote working the norm. All of these changes will naturally have had a significant impact on Gen-Z and consequently, their natural working, learning and communication styles will have evolved and changed as a result.

A recent study has highlighted that 40% of employers are actively avoiding hiring Gen-Z workers, claiming that they are underprepared for the working world. It’s clear that the coronavirus pandemic has had a significant influence on the character, habits and personalities of Gen-Z and some of these traits contrast with older millennials who make up the majority of the workforce. Making the workplace a difficult space to navigate for those fresh out of college or university. Furthermore, Gen-Z are more likely to admit mental health concerns such as anxiety, which can lead to friction within office environments with a ‘keep calm and carry on’ culture.

It’s clear that Gen-Z are truly shaping the future culture of the workplace. For businesses and brands, investing in new technologies, systems and prioritising digital communication will be integral to attracting young talent and driving success over the next decades. Additionally, ensuring that mental health and wellbeing is a priority for your employees is paramount to retaining Gen-Z workers. Supporting Gen-Z workers and actively targeting Gen-Z consumers will be crucial to success for many brands as we enter the second half of the 2020’s.

Watch this space for more industry insights and trends!

Matt Briggs

Operations Manager

When Matt isn’t streamlining operations at Limely HQ, you’ll find him playing squash, running marathons and supporting his favourite football team ⚽️

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