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Gen Z & Gen Alpha – Tips for Preparing Your Organization for Them

Gen Zers and Alphas are digital natives — they’ve grown up alongside smartphones and tablets. They’ve always had information and communications tools at their fingertips and are incredibly comfortable experimenting with the latest technology and AI.

Who Are Gen Z and Gen Alpha?

  • Gen Z is defined as those born between 1995 and 2012. The oldest are starting their careers and the youngest are in middle school.
  • Gen Alphas’ birthdays range from 2013 to 2025. The oldest are beginning to pick up summer jobs and the newest members have yet to be born.

By the end of 2024, Gen Z will outnumber boomers in the workforce and are poised to overtake millennials by 2040. By the end of 2025, there will be two billion Alphas worldwide, making them the largest generation in history.

The Impact of Gen Z and Gen Alpha on the Work Landscape

Driven by a sense of purpose, they’re more likely to take control of their careers, frequently switching companies or working multiple part-time roles to get the flexibility they desire.

As more and more members of Gen Z enter the workforce, they struggle to reconcile their expectations of work with those of their employers. Companies have concerns about Gen Z’s experience, professionalism, and work ethic, with 36% of hiring managers admitting to age bias regarding their youngest hires.

Years of remote school and work mean Gen Z may have some catching up to do when it comes to navigating the work landscape. However, professional language and business dress — once office staples — are no longer the status quo in the new workplace. The new approach to work is less traditional and a little more personal. Video conferences have become much more informal over the last few years, and other communication tools like team chats make work seem more like an extension of their everyday lives.

After spending so much time online, Gen Z is looking to gain experience in the physical office. In fact, 74% prefer a hybrid schedule, and only 11% prefer to stay completely remote. They’re looking forward to experiences that can’t be replicated online, like in-person collaboration, mentorship, and office culture.

Despite their managers’ concerns, 64% of Gen Zers say they like their jobs, and 81% believe they’re good workers. A lifetime on social media means they’re the most well-connected generation yet. The future Gen Z (and Alpha to come) workforce will be tightly knit, socially driven, and technologically advanced.

Although leaders may be concerned about hiring Gen Zers and Alphas, they should embrace their strengths. Given the right tools and the room to grow, these new tech-savvy and purpose-driven employees have the potential to propel businesses into the future.

3 Ways to Prepare for the Future Workforce

As Gen Z and Gen Alpha begin their careers, organizations must develop strategies to set them up for success. To attract these younger generations, take advantage of their unique strengths, and turn them into a sophisticated, productive workforce, organizations should take these three steps:

1. Embrace Flexible Work Options – Gen Zers and Alphas value work-life balance and the ability to work on their terms. Businesses can attract and retain top young talent by embracing flexible schedules, remote or hybrid work models, and providing in-person collaboration opportunities.

2. Invest in Digital Tools and AI Integration – Generations Z and Alpha have grown up in a digital-first world, and companies should invest in robust, unified communications and collaboration platforms to meet their technological expectations. Features like AI capabilities, calendar integration, document management, and text-to-speech can enhance remote or hybrid work, streamline digital collaboration, and boost productivity.

3. Promote a Sense of Purpose – Younger generations value work that aligns with their values and has a positive social impact. Companies should focus on cultivating a workplace culture that emphasizes purpose, social responsibility, and opportunities for meaningful contributions.

Tech Savvy and Ready to Get to Work

By embracing tools and approaches that play to the younger generations’ skills and values, organizations can better prepare their newest employees for successful careers and future-proof their operations.

TCI designs, deploys, and supports communications tools and services that will connect your newest employees. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or GetHelp@tcicomm.com.
 

7 Office Trends Redefining Online Team Collaboration

The way people use technology continues to shift quickly, and consumer behaviors and expectations are bleeding into business environments, creating new requirements and methods of doing business.

Here are several important office trends redefining how businesses and people collaborate online.

1. Using More Outsourced Resources – Freelancers and consultants fill various roles depending on a company’s size, priorities, and policies. Whether enterprise or SMB, some companies use the expertise of outside resources to provide a necessary perspective, service, or advice to help businesses. Other companies use outsourced workers to quickly scale up and down, improving their agility and flexibility. Businesses using freelancers, consultants, or other types of remote support need robust online collaboration tools to connect these outsourced workers and the company’s staff to work effectively and efficiently.

2. The Rise of Solopreneurs – The trend of companies using more outsourced workers and the rise of solopreneurs go together. Solopreneurs run their single-person businesses, often relying on contracting or consulting work for employment. They’re usually experts in niche areas. As more workers become solopreneurs, companies will increasingly have to look outside of their walls to fill needs in those specialties. Your online collaboration tools should be user-friendly, so solopreneurs don’t need to become experts in obscure software to get on board and pitch in.

3. Cloud Enablement and the Rise of Mobility – With increased connectivity, the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, and a global economy, mobility changed the game for many companies. With today’s cloud-based technology, work is an activity, not a location. Files and other resources once chained to the office are now available from anywhere with a decent Internet connection. Online collaboration tools are more important than ever to connect those in the office, those traveling, those working remote or hybrid, or outsourced resources to keep work moving productively.

4. Real Estate Consolidation and Savings – Real estate can be pricey for businesses, with some urban areas commanding $100 or more per square foot of office space — a 10×10 office costs a staggering $10,000 per year in some places. Enabling remote workers can help keep real estate costs under control by reducing your need for space, avoiding relocation, and more. Without a good online collaboration tool designed for remote workers, it’s tough for workers to connect with their in-office counterparts to get work done.

5. Hyper Specialization – When you need an expert in a particular field, there’s a good chance they won’t live near your office. Some are willing to relocate. But many are not. If your much-needed expert feels like staying put, you may need to make concessions to bring them on board. Or you might have to offer them work-hour flexibility as a perk to seal the deal. Either way, it makes hyper-specialization another factor putting pressure on companies to use reliable online collaboration tools to stay competitive.

6. Wanderlust and the Rise of Ex-Pats – Have you seen House Hunters International? It’s not just showcasing ex-pat retirees settling into another country to spend their golden years with an exotic sea breeze tickling their noses. More people on the show are working professionals who want to travel or live abroad while continuing to work. This trend is growing, and innovative companies are leaning on online collaboration to help enable staff to work where they want to keep key talent on board.

7. Bring-Your-Own-Device – BYOD shouldn’t be a big surprise when it comes to identifying trends that are redefining online collaboration. Bottom line: companies that enable BYOD must find an online collaboration tool that works across various platforms, including smartphones, tablets, and computers. This trend points to the need for a user-friendly interface that’s intuitive and easy to use. If it’s not easy to use, workers will be quick to abandon it, hurting productivity or spawning pockets of shadow IT.

Adapt to Stay Competitive

The workplace is changing fast and leading to a revolution in how we collaborate online. Innovative companies and savvy tech providers adapt to stay competitive and ensure work gets done. Whether you’re affected by one of these trends or all of them, it pays to know the forces reshaping the landscape. Because the more you know, the better you can respond.

Let’s talk about your business and how you can exploit better Online Collaboration tools. Contact TCI today at: (703) 321-3030 or GetHelp@tcicomm.com.