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What will the Gen Z workplace look like?

Last Updated : 20 October 2020, 02:39 IST
Last Updated : 20 October 2020, 02:39 IST

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Gen Z
Gen Z
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Generation Z or Gen Z is soon going to be the largest cohort of the population after millennials; they form 32% of the world’s population and include 47.2 crore people from India alone.

Born as digital natives, Gen Z is just beginning to graduate and enter the workforce now.

The continuing emergence of ground-breaking technology like machine learning, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, IoT, blockchain within a relatively short span of time has pushed businesses to change their style of functioning.

A recent industry report found that more than 42 per cent of all jobs will change drastically by 2022, putting more focus on tech-based skills. In fact, a surprising development is non-tech students and professionals taking to tech-based jobs post upskilling.

The creation of these new job roles has also resulted in companies emphasising skills rather than educational qualifications when hiring. This trend, coupled with Gen Z’s high-tech upbringing, is expected to bring a new set of behaviours, expectations, and preferences into the ‘new’ workplace.

So what will the workforce look like for Gen Z?

Upskilling: The industry has now become so disruptive that some of the skill sets that were considered crucial until last year have become obsolete today.

When Gen Z comes to the workplace, they might find themselves a little underprepared for the changing demands of the industry. A culture of continuous learning and skilling will be the new normal.

This is unlike the older generation, where learning stopped post University. Therefore, instilling a reskilling mechanism in the workplace will become a priority for employers.

Remote working: Thanks to the global pandemic, Gen Z is experiencing a whole new work culture in terms of remote working. For a generation that loves the freedom to operate independently, remote working seems to be a boon. This new generation of workforce requires little hand-holding and has the confidence of executing tasks independently.

Embracing freelancers / gig economy: The gig economy is a market where a growing number of people are offered freelance or contract work, as opposed to a permanent job. Today, there is no ‘job for life’; every job has become temporary.

Since Gen Z embraces flexibility, independence, career growth and income-driven outcomes, most of them are eyeing the option of entering the gig economy. One of the most appealing aspects of working in the gig economy is the absence of a boss or management, a boon for those looking to grow their professional skills without any fear of failure or being reprimanded from leadership. Tapping into gig-workers might also prove to be cost-efficient for employers.

When it comes to skills and work, every generation has its own strengths and weaknesses. For Gen Z, adapting to technology and picking up skills like coding or app development might come easy. They also seem to be taking to freelance roles in the gig economy, that offer them flexibility.

That said, it is time for workplaces to welcome this new age workforce who bring along new perspectives and ways of work life.

(The author is co-founder of a Bengaluru-based coding bootcamp)

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Published 19 October 2020, 19:15 IST

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