Millennials are currently the biggest demographic group in the world of work but are no longer the youngest. The Zoomer Generation has just started to enter the labor market. The rise of workplace technology, the Great Resignation, and the return of the post-pandemic workforce have pushed organizations to change. But the arrival of Gen Z is about to bring a new wave of workers’ expectations.
As Baby Boomers slowly retire, Gen Y and Z are indeed shaping the trends of the future of work. Even though these two generations have many similarities, there is also a big difference between them. People born after 1996 are the first individuals to have grown up with the Internet and technology. It is vital for companies to understand what distinguishes them and what their expectations are.
What is the age range of the latest generation of employees? Why are they called Zoomers and what are their characteristics? How do they impact the work environment? This article will give you a complete overview of the next gen of workers. However, keep in mind that each generation is complex and shouldn’t be boiled down to a few characteristics. .
What is the Zoomer Generation?
The age range of the Gen Z
The first question that people ask when talking about this new generation is: when does it begin and end? Because there is already another one that started — generation Alpha. Gen Z includes all individuals born between 1996 and 2009. Therefore the youngest Gen Zers are currently in their early twenties. Their visions and expectations are very different from those of Baby Boomers as they slowly enter the world of work. Millennials tend to share similar ideals. However, the main distinction is that the ideals that were considered “nice-to-have” for Gen Y have now become a must for Gen Z.
The reason why this generation is called Zoomers
The word ‘Zoomer’ is modeled on the word ‘Boomer’, which refers to a Baby Boomer. Baby Boomers, also known as Generation X, are people born between 1946 and 1964. Those who were specifically active were then called ‘Zoomers’. Earning a fair disposable income and appreciating a stable lifestyle, active Baby Boomers were ‘zooming’ into stores. The term was repurposed to define Generation Z in contrast to this older generation.
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What are the characteristics of Generation Z?
The ’90s marked a sharp turning point for communication and technology. The development of entertainment culture rose, the use of the Internet exploded and the increase of home technology expanded as well. Zoomers are the first generation born with this tech and in a highly connected environment. This makes a huge difference. As a reminder, the first iPhone was created in 2007. Whether they preferred Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, or any other brand, this means that the first phone that Zoomers had were already very advanced. Having Internet connection wherever they go is also a specific trait of the Zoomer Generation, for example.
Diversity and inclusion
Both in their personal and professional environments, Generation Z requires more diversity and inclusion. The world population has never been as diverse as it is now, making it an important topic for the youngest employees. For this reason, they are also more involved in politics than other generations and any form of discrimination is a ‘no-go’. According to a Deloitte survey about Millenials and Zoomers, ‘six in 10 Gen Zs and 56% of millennials say systemic racism is widespread in general society’ and ‘thirty-four percent of millennials and 38% of Gen Zs believe racism in the workplace is systemic’. The DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) topic still needs many improvements and this new generation is strongly pushing for social change.
Similar to having grown up with technology, Gen Z has also been hearing about the critical situation of the planet since their childhood. Even though this does not mean all Zoomers are sensitive to this topic, the majority of them are and consider it a crucial issue to tackle. They are a lot more engaged with sustainability initiatives than previous generations and are ready to fight for their environmental rights. According to a recent study from First Insight, many Gen Z consumers are willing to pay 10% more to be able to buy eco-friendly products. We will see that this characteristic also plays a role in the office. So, are you focusing on creating a greener workspace? If not, you may want to in order to attract the youngest top talent in the labor market!
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International awareness and global connection
The rapid development of media and technology makes this new generation a lot more conscious of global issues and more connected with the rest of the world. Like Millenials, they travel more than previous generations. And these experiences can have an impact on Zoomers’ understanding of social and environmental issues. This global awareness is one of the main reasons why they are so politically and socially active. Former generations did not always know about what was happening in other countries and did not have access to as much information as Gen Z does. Googling to learn more about a topic might not be the first reflex of a Baby Boomer. But the Zoomer Generation is born into this flow of information (negative or positive). Once you know about or witness social or environmental injustice, it is hard to stay silent.
The children of a generation who suffered from the Great Recession have witnessed their parents struggling to make ends meet. This aspect deeply impacts how Generation Z behaves and sees the future. Their vision is more realistic. Also, the large access to information makes them want to know and understand everything. This results in more pragmatic and analytical decision-making. A McKinsey survey about the ‘true gen’ affirms that 65% of their participants ‘value knowing what is going on around them and being in control’. As the majority of the population requires more transparency in all aspects of life (brands, governments, employers, etc.), this is even more important for these young people.
How is the Zoomer Generation in the workplace?
Zoomers still care about earning a fair wage. This is totally normal. However, it is no longer their first priority when looking at a job offer. What matters the most for this generation is to find purpose and strong values (social, ethical, sustainable, etc.) in their position. The Deloitte Global 2021 Millennial and Gen Z survey shows that 49% of the respondents said they have made choices about their career path and potential employers, according to the organization’s values and ethics.
Innovative and creative employees
Innovation and creation take a turn with the development of technologies and Generation Z’s comfort with the progression of modern tech. Because they are familiar with digitalization and virtual communication, embracing new workplace technology trends is a no-brainer for them. Not only do they adjust to new digital office devices quicker than other workers, but they also know how to make the most of them. Another quality of Gen Z is its adaptability. As they are so eager to innovate and create, they seem to be less reluctant to implement a new way of working.
Imagine finishing your studies virtually and then beginning your first job remotely. What an unusual way to enter adult life! Well, this is what workers born after 1996 have had to go through since the start of the pandemic. This is one of the main reasons why they don’t want to work fully remotely (even though they are not the only ones). Working from home offers many advantages but this generation is seeking real human interaction and work-life balance. Work flexibility, including hybrid work and flexitime, is the solution. As most of them started their careers completely isolated in front of their laptop at home, having the chance to maintain this level of comfort while also being able to meet their colleagues at the office is the perfect combo.
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Have you heard about the third workplace? Millennials started this trend which allows employees to work from anywhere (cafés, coworking spaces, etc.), not just from the office or home. The pandemic also played a big role in boosting this phenomenon as people started to rent places far from home to isolate themselves in a nice location and enjoy a different setting. Now that a lot of companies ask their employees to return to the office, many workers wish to keep some of this freedom, especially the Millenials and the Zoomer Generation. Again, hybrid work is the way to go!
There are many ways to reward your staff. Salary is important but lifestyle privileges are too, and this is something Gen Z is considering. Employee well-being, work-life balance, and learning courses are among the most appreciated job perks for this group of workers. Here is the list of 8 lifestyle benefits ideas for your employees:
- wellness app access;
- gym subscription;
- yoga classes (or any other sports);
- four-day work week option;
- hybrid work and flexitime opportunities;
- upskilling and reskilling programs;
- student loan repayment assistance;
- healthcare benefits.
The Zoomer Generation is sometimes referred to as the generation that ‘wants it all’. It may be true, but why not try to shape your work model according to their expectations if it results in positive outcomes for your business? To help you meet your employees’ expectations, deskbird provides you with the best hybrid space management app. Do you want to see how it can support you? Request a free demo from our deskbirds!