GEN Z REMOTE EMPLOYEES
5 THINGS THEY MISS ABOUT THE OFFICE
Gen Z is the future of our workforce, and many of them have spent the last year working remotely. Like those in other generations, some Gen Z employees have an easier time working from home than others. But unlike other generations, this cohort of employees hasn’t spent years or decades developing their careers and building professional relationships. That could mean that many of your younger employees are feeling stalled, disconnected or less engaged. Here are five things they may be missing, or have never experienced, about working in an office:
1. A GOOD LAUGH
The office humor and casual camaraderie that employees enjoy when sharing a workplace is a huge element of job satisfaction for many. For remote work teams, you might want to create more opportunities for online social connection, like trivia competitions, virtual cocktail hours or just more time for chitchat in online meetings. One note though: be sensitive to demanding mandatory fun for employees, and when possible, schedule these during work hours.
When people are working together in an office environment, there are countless interactions throughout the day that provide feedback, from a casual nod of approval to pointed conversations that deliver constructive criticism. Encourage your managers to find ways to provide that feedback in online conversations or even digitally with emojis and brief comments on Slack, Basecamp, Teams or whatever online productivity tools your organization uses.
3. HIGH FIVES
People working together as a team tend to thrive on rising to challenges together and then celebrating their successes. Gen Z and Millennial employees also may be more team-oriented than their older colleagues and could be missing those collective victories. Encourage managers, and top leadership, to find ways to acknowledge the wins, and to congratulate teams for crossing hurdles and meeting milestones, whether that’s in a town hall, team meeting or company-wide announcement.
In the typical office situation, younger employees learn from older ones by watching how they handle a wide range of situations, from sales calls to meetings with their superiors to managing office politics. A full year out of the office means the current cohort of entry level employees has missed out on that subtle learning. Consider launching a more structured mentoring program that allows Gen Z employees to develop close one-on-one supportive relationships.
5. FREE FOOD
Is one of the typical perks of your offices a well-stocked breakroom with energy bars, fresh fruit and other snacks? Are there frequent lunch meetings with catering or takeout brought in? You might not realize that younger employees on lower salaries were accustomed to counting on those office-provided calories to stretch their food budget. Some companies have compensated with employee rewards of food delivery services or snack box subscriptions.