Study Shows Gen Zers Prefer Freelance Roles, Shorter Work Hours

June 27, 2018

As Generation X and boomer employers continue to learn how to effectively manage and collaborate with millennials, the next generation is poised to enter the workforce.

However, a recent study from integrated communications agency Canvas Blue suggests that Generation Z — those born between 1996 and 2010, making the oldest individuals in that demographic recent college graduates — may require a whole new set of expectations for executives and older business leaders.

For instance, while the Institute for Public Relations found that nearly half of American millennials say an inclusive workplace is a key factor in a job search, Gen Z individuals view diversity as a low workplace priority, which Canvas Blue says may be because they are considered the most diverse generation and already see inclusion as a given.

Instead, their highest priority is office security. “Feeling safe is likely the number one priority due to the frequent public shootings and other public safety threats this generation has grown up watching or experiencing firsthand,” writes Canvas Blue.

The study also reveals that 61 percent of Gen Z individuals see “earning a high salary” as a marker of career success, and that freelance jobs are preferable to salaried office roles, as long as the pay is the same.

And if you’re a manager looking to develop a rapport with your Gen Z employee, then make sure that you’re selective about assigning overtime projects; 42 percent of respondents say they won’t stay longer than their 9-to-5 time frame, and that they want to work for bosses who respect their work hours.

“Don’t expect them to stay late at work,” writes Canvas Blue. “Many do not believe they need to work long hours to get ahead.” — Dean Essner


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