‘New work’ meets Gen Z: Understanding the needs of the talent of the future

Frederik Fahning, co-founder and managing director of Zenjob, explains how businesses that work to Gen Z’s strengths will help to create future leaders and cultivate a workforce that will shape the organisation’s future

Whether we’re talking about home offices, hybrid working or four-day weeks, work has been fundamentally changed because of Covid-19.

The latest working practices are hot topics, but which is best? How should the working week look? How can flexible and decentralised work be successful without impacting company processes?

‘New work’ becomes exciting when it meets Gen Z, who are developing fresh ideas about what they want from the workplace.

To win them over, businesses must closely consider the generation’s needs to help shape what their organisations look like.

Zenjob, a personnel service provider that outsources student assistants and other part-time workers to companies, conducted research in Germany to find out Gen Z’s workplace demands. The results mirrored those found by Deloitte in the UK.

The studies show Gen Z’s relationship towards work is ambivalent. They want fixed working hours (50 per cent surveyed by Zenjob) but have a great desire for flexibility (50 per cent surveyed by Zenjob).

Deloitte found that a fifth of Gen Z prefers to spend less time in the office, and ‘flexibility and adaptability’ are the most important workplace qualities.

Zenjob also found that Gen Z wants to separate professional and private matters (78 per cent). However, they accept that they may need to be available during annual leave (70 per cent). Zenjob also found that it’s important for Gen Z to work autonomously and organise their time themselves.

The Zenjob data shows that for Gen Z, work doesn’t define life, it enriches it. Two thirds of Gen Z want private time that isn’t based around their working hours. Career is seen as important, but it’s not life’s ultimate goal, according to more than two-thirds (69 per cent) of Gen Z.

This generation also values​ professional development investment from companies.

An interesting side note on companies is that according to Deloitte, 53 per cent of Gen Z would welcome a career change over the next two years, showing that employer loyalty is falling dramatically for Gen Z.

What can we learn from this? Companies that enable and adopt flexible working for Gen Z will be one step ahead.

Digital tools and innovative recruitment processes are essential to make an agile organisation and its processes as smooth as possible, not only for the benefit of the company, but to meet the requirements of Gen Z for flexibility and the compatibility of work and private life.

Businesses that work to Gen Z’s strengths will help to create future leaders, cultivating a workforce to shape the future of the company and of work.

Frederik Fahning is co-founder and managing director of Zenjob

Zenjob is a personnel service provider that outsources student assistants and other part-time workers to companies. Zenjob offers flexible and secure employment options from numerous jobs, offering fast payment – including a 50 per cent advance payment just a few days after the work assignment, as well as professional onboarding and training.

Since it was founded in 2015, Zenjob has been placing more than 22,000 students a month in sectors such as logistics, events, retail or gastronomy in over 35 German cities and the Netherlands. The company is currently working on exciting plans to further enhance its services to pair Gen Z employees with employers that match their values.