Despite the tech revolution, Gen Z and Millennials  crave in-person collaboration

New study uncovers preferences for offices and in-person meetings, with “communication” identified as the #1 most desired leadership trait

NEW YORK – Sept. 6, 2016 – Despite popular belief, 41 percent of Gen Z say corporate offices are their workplace preference, according to a global study released today by Future Workplace, an HR executive network and research firm dedicated to the future of learning and working, and Randstad US, one of the largest HR services and staffing companies in the United States. As a follow-up to a previous study conducted in 2014, the Gen Z & Millennials Collide @ Work report focuses on the impact of Gen Z entering the workplace for the first time and how Millennials are engaging with them.    

Consistent with 2014, Gen Z and Millennials continue to prefer communicating with co-workers and managers in-person in lieu of email and phone. This year, Gen Z and Millennials both said “communication” was the most important quality of a leader, compared to “honesty” in 2014. 

Additional findings from the survey include:

Younger generations want more social media integration at work, but admit it is also their biggest distraction. Globally, the technologies that Gen Z and Millennials want their employers to incorporate into the workplace include: social media (41 percent), wearables (27 percent) and virtual reality (26 percent). While they want to embrace social media, 46 percent of both generations also agree it is their biggest distraction from getting work done, with text messaging (39 percent) and email (31 percent) following closely.

They want to work in the technology sector. Both Gen Z and Millennials are most interested in working in technology (45 percent) and education (17 percent). Both groups are least interested in insurance (3 percent), energy and utilities (3 percent) and telecommunications (4 percent). Almost half (49 percent) of Gen Z and Millennials said they intend to work in their current industry for their entire career, compared to 31 percent who said they won’t.

Globally, work flexibility is now more desirable than healthcare coverage. In 2016, work flexibility has become a more desired employee benefit than healthcare for Millennials and Gen Z, yet only one-third of companies offer it (34 percent). In 2014, healthcare coverage was the most desired employee benefit by both generations, yet only 50 percent of companies offered it. 

While most have only worked in one country, they desire to work in many. Seventy-one percent of global Gen Z and Millennials have only worked in one country thus far in their careers, yet 56 percent aspire to work in more than one country in the future. Those wanting to work in more than one country are more likely to say their companies are performing well financially or have better employee satisfaction scores.

The annual performance review is vanishing. The annual performance review is coming to an end as more Gen Z and Millennials are receiving feedback either daily (19 percent), weekly (24 percent) or “regularly” (23 percent), instead of annually (3 percent). In the United States specifically, 28 percent of Gen Z and 17 percent of Millennials receive feedback regularly. 

Millennial managers struggle to navigate the corporate environment. In addition to stress and money, Millennials named “corporate politics” as one of the biggest obstacles that could get in the way of work performance. Additionally, only 27 percent say they are extremely well prepared to work in a team environment or rate their personal skills as “very good.” 

Quotes
“Despite the introduction and proliferation of new technologies at work, Millennials and Gen Z value the in-person communication that comes with a traditional corporate office much like older generations do. At the same time, they also seek flexible hours and telecommuting that two-thirds of companies still fail to offer. Companies that want to successfully recruit, retain and grow their young talent must look to corporate culture as their competitive advantage moving forward.”

– Dan Schawbel, Research Director at Future Workplace and New York Times bestselling author of Promote Yourself

“One of the most pervasive themes from this year’s global study is Gen Z’s propensity and desire for collaboration. Whether it is in a corporate office, at home or in a coffee shop, Gen Z workers prefer collaborative work environments. In fact, our study found that global Gen Z workers named ‘co-workers who like to collaborate’ as the type of worker who would help them do their best work, second only to co-workers who work as hard as they do. Furthermore, more than half (54 percent) of Gen Z’s said the people they work with is the top workplace attribute that enables them to do their best work. Companies seeking to be an employer of choice must leverage the collaborative revolution taking place and provide the technology, tools and processes that facilitate and encourage it.”
– Jim Link, Chief Human Resources Officer at Randstad North America

Webinar: Gen Z and Millennials Global Work Preferences Revealed
Join Randstad and Future Workplace in a webinar on Sept. 13 to learn more about the research findings, the preferences of these generations and strategies that companies can implement to best engage them.  To register for the “Gen Z and Millennials Global Work Preferences Revealed” webinar, please visit: http://bit.ly/genzmillennialswebinar

Survey methodology
Research findings are based on a survey conducted by Morar Consulting fielded across 10 global markets (US, UK, Germany, Mexico, Poland, Argentina, India, China, Canada and South Africa) between June 22 and July 11, 2016. For this survey, 4,066 respondents were asked about their preparation for work, as well as expectations and experiences of their workplaces. The study targeted two separate groups: Gen Z 22 year olds in full-time employment (1,965 surveys), and Millennial 23-34 year olds in full-time employment (2,101 surveys), in order to compare expectations with the reality of workplace experiences. Respondents were recruited through a number of different mechanisms, via different sources, to join panels and participate in market research surveys. All panelists have passed a double opt-in process and completed an average of 900 profiling data points before taking part in surveys. Respondents were invited to take part via email and were provided with a small monetary incentive for doing so. All sample surveys may be subject to multiple sources of error (i.e., sampling error, coverage error, measurement error, etc.).

Contacts
Future Workplace: Dan Schawbel, dan@futureworkplace.com ‚Ä®Randstad: Lesly Cardec, lesly.cardec@randstadusa.com and McKenzie Naylor, mckenzie.naylor@cohnwolfe.com 

About Future Workplace
Future Workplace is an HR executive network and research firm focused on the future of learning and working. The firm operates the Future Workplace Network, a consortium of Fortune 1000 global member organizations who use Future Workplace research and insights to future proof their learning and talent strategies. Visit http://www.futureworkplace.com to learn more.

About Randstad
Randstad US is a wholly owned subsidiary of Randstad Holding nv, a $24.5 billion global provider of HR services. As one of the largest staffing organizations in the United States, Randstad provides temporary, temporary-to-hire and permanent placement services each week to over 100,000 people through its network of more than 900 branches and client-dedicated locations. 

Employing 5,300 recruiting experts, the company is a top provider of outsourcing, staffing, consulting and workforce solutions within the areas of engineering, finance and accounting, healthcare, human resources, IT, legal, life sciences, manufacturing and logistics, office and administration and sales and marketing. Learn more at www.randstadusa.com and access Randstad’s panoramic U.S. thought leadership knowledge center through its Workforce360 site that offers valuable insight into the latest economic indicators and HR trends shaping the world of work.