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Jan. 30, 2020, 9:02 a.m. EST

Put down the phone, Gen Zs want to talk to you in person

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TORONTO, Jan. 30, 2020 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) -- New ServiceNow study reveals what the 'selfie generation' actually wants in the workplace

The youngest generation, often perceived as self-centered, entitled and tech-obsessed, are entering the workforce and bringing more value than stereotypes suggest. A new survey commissioned by ServiceNow Canada, the company that makes work, work better for people, explored expectations Gen Zs have of the workforce and busted several myths we think we know about how this generation experiences life at work.

Results from the Gen Z and the Future of Work in Canada study--which polled over 1,500 Canadian employees--revealed that Gen Z attitudes about workplace technology, preferred forms of communication and the value these employees bring to the workforce are not what you expect them to be. Turns out Gen Zs are actually quite similar to older generations - valuing face-to-face interactions and job security.

"Gen Z represents the future of work, and is a growing percentage of the workforce. As companies continue to transform digitally and prepare for the workplace of the future, it's critical we look at the needs and expectations of the employees who will be most involved in and impacted by this workplace transformation," says Marc LeCuyer, General Manager, Canada, ServiceNow.

"This age group has the potential to bring really positive change to the way we work. If we want to create the best workplace experiences we have to look beyond what we assume we already know about this generation and dig into what truly drives and motivates them at work," LeCuyer says.

As the workforce embraces digital technology, Gen Zs crave more traditional forms of communication

After growing up connected 24/7, Gen Zs value the importance of in-person interactions at work, far more than we might assume.







        
            --  Three in five (58%) Gen Zs prefer to communicate with their
                manager in person, while only one in three (36%) prefer to
                communicate by text and one in four (26%) prefer instant
                message (IM).
            --  Contrastingly, older generations assume Gen Zs prefer to
                communicate by text (62%) and by IM (47%). Only 17% assume Gen
                Z prefers in-person communication.
        
        
        


Gen Zs are more than self-absorbed social media experts

When it comes to the value Gen Zs bring to the workforce, older generations don't see the opportunities--beyond learning how to use digital and social platforms.







        
            --  Gen Z feels they can teach older colleagues open-mindedness
                (53%), creative problem solving (45%) and how to have fun at
                work (44%).
            --  However, less than one third of respondents in older
                generations think they can learn these things from Gen Zs (32%,
                29% and 29% respectively).
          o 46% believe they can learn how to use digital/social platforms--far
            more than any other skill.
            --  Close to half of Gen Z survey respondents say the biggest
                misconceptions older generations have is that they're
                self-absorbed (49%), have a short attention span (48%) and are
                entitled (44%).
        
        
        


Unlike their millennial counterparts, Gen Z does not want to job hop--84% would prefer to have a long and established career at one workplace. However, there's willingness to leave quickly due to unhappiness (85%) or career advancement (83%).

Gen Zs want practical workplace technology

With a third of our lives spent at work, Gen Zs are eager for technology to help simplify their work lives and recognize that technology can play a more significant role in the workplace. In fact, 74% of Gen Z respondents say that technology at work should be as easy as it is at home.

Having grown up with smartphones in hand, Gen Z employees want to use mobile-optimized technology at work, far more than they are currently doing so.







        
            --  62% want to use mobile technology for communication and 55% for
                collaboration, but only 50% have used it for communication and
                only 44% have for collaboration.
            --  Despite being digital natives, Gen Z isn't looking for
                futuristic technology at work. Only one in five are looking to
                use artificial or virtual reality (AR and VR) (22%), hold
                holographic meetings (22%) or use drones at work (20%).
        
        
        


"Gen Zs bring digital fluency to the workplace, but they crave more personal experiences at work, too. They expect technology at work to be as simple as it is at home, and at the same time value in-person communication and interaction with their colleagues and managers. As we look at how best to leverage technology for the workplace of the future, it's clear we have a lot to learn from this dynamic generation about how we can improve the working world--far beyond learning how to use social media," says LeCuyer.

Additional survey findings and an infographic can be found here.

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