The Generation Game – is the workplace ready for Gen Z?

This viral New York Times article circulating on LinkedIn has been highlighting the challenges to Millennial bosses as they grapple with the priorities and behaviours of the Gen-Z workforce.

A 2018 multi-generational survey by global consultancy firm, Deloitte, concluded that Gen Z-ers were “Radically different than Millennials” and that Gen Z has “an entirely unique perspective on careers and how to define success in life and in the workforce.”  As the first generation to be born after the advent of the internet, the survey also discovered that many Gen Z digital natives are drawn towards careers in the tech industry, with 51% of those surveyed rating technology as a top industry in which to work.

Whether it’s delegating upwards, asking to leave when they’ve completed their work, taking mental health days, or only using emojis to be ‘professional’, Gen Z is truly disrupting an already disrupted workplace.

Whatever your feelings about Gen Z’s approach to employment, the fact is that by 2025 they will make up 27% of the workforce, so we’re all going to have to make an effort to get along.  We take a tongue in cheek look at the generations currently in work, from the Baby Boomers through to Gen Z.  See if you recognise yourself!


The Gen Z-er (1997-2012)

Most likely to say – ‘OK boomer, that’s cheugy’

Most likely to wear – anything but skinny jeans

Most likely to drink – anything from a brand with a social conscience


The Millennial (1981-1996)

Most likely to say – ‘I prefer artisanal bread for my avocado toast’

Most likely to wear – anything as long as it’s ‘Millennial Pink’

Most likely to drink – Craft beer



The Gen X-er (1965-1980)

Most likely to say – ‘Does anyone care what we think?’

Most likely to wear – no one cares

Most likely to drink – honestly, no one cares


The Boomer (1946-1964)

Most likely to say – ‘That’s the mortgage paid off.  Now I can invest more into my pension.’

Most likely to wear – A good suit

Most likely to drink – A nice glass of red


The fact is, managing intergenerational workforces is not a new issue, even if the values and priorities that each generation presents create new challenges for leaders.  Whilst Gen Z employees are challenging their bosses and pushing boundaries in 2021, it won’t be long before Generation Alpha is making their workplace desires know and disrupting the disrupters.  OK boomer?


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