Gen Z Work Preferences Could Redefine Workplace Collaboration

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Dominic Catacora
Dominic Catacora
Dominic Catacora is a Staff Writer for Allwork.space. He is based in Pittsburgh, PA. He graduated from Radford University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Media Studies - Journalism. He has previously covered the Historic Triangle as a journalist living in Williamsburg, Va, and is now focused on writing related to the future of work.

Managers are impressed with Gen Z’s strong digital skills, but over half of them believe the generation’s soft skills need improvement.

Originally published in Allwork.space .

Results from a recent poll published by global recruitment firm Robert Walters shed light on Gen Z’s unique impact on the workplace.  

According to the data, less than one in five Gen Z workers prefer working in a team environment — with 31% of respondents expressing they work better alone. This inclination, combined with managers’ observations that 53% of Gen Z lack adequate communication skills, suggests collaborative challenges that could be on the rise for a multigenerational workforce.  

Almost half of the managers who participated in the poll believe that the addition of Gen Z into the workforce has led to a decline in collaborative working. It’s reported that managers identify a lack of communication skills, teamwork, and critical thinking as the primary barriers.  

This development poses challenges for companies attempting to integrate five generations in a hybrid working environment. In the report, Martin Fox, Managing Director of Robert Walters Canada, stresses the importance of recognizing and leveraging Gen Z’s strengths to prevent stagnation or regression in workplace practices. 

The study reveals a key strength of Gen Z is their adeptness in digital communication channels. Approximately 44% of managers stated they are impressed by Gen Z’s ease with digital tools like instant messaging and video conferencing. These kinds of skills are increasingly valuable in today’s remote and hybrid work environments — and with the emergence of AI technologies. However, as suggested by Fox, there is a clear need for improvement in in-person communication and teamwork to fully realize the full potential of a multi-generational workforce. 

Robert Walters also published a Diversity & Inclusion survey which reveals that intergenerational conflict is a significant factor in employee turnover rates — with a quarter of workers citing clashes over work methods as a reason for leaving a job. To address these challenges, Fox suggests several strategies, including reducing remote work to enhance in-person collaboration, incorporating soft skills development into training programs, establishing mentorship programs, encouraging cross-generational collaboration, providing constructive feedback focusing on soft skills in performance reviews, and hiring leaders skilled in managing a diverse workforce. 

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