Unpacking the modern workforce

Unpacking Gen Z and the Modern Workforce

For many years, organizations have focused their attention on millennials, the largest generation in the workforce, at 35% of workers. But now a younger generation of workers, Gen Z, are driving changes in the modern workforce. For starters, they view technology differently than previous generations, including Gen X and Baby Boomers. And they see personal interactions and the workday differently.

The numbers illustrate this transformation.

Consider that more than half (57%) of wage and salary workers can vary the times they start and stop working, according to the most recent statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The numbers also reveal 29% of workers could work at home, while one in four sometimes do.

Among those who worked at home:

  • 24% did so because of personal preference
  • 23% worked at home to catch up on work
  • 22% to coordinate their schedules for individual needs

Organizations should not confine business to a single place. The modern workforce is marked by change and mobility, two themes that are aligned with the need for organizations to collaborate. Technology allows organizations to focus on gathering the right team, not one that is geographically convenient.

The idea that an office is the most suitable place to collaborate is out-of-date. Interestingly, Gallup research shows employee engagement rose when workers spent time — three to four days per week — working off-site.

Part of the problem with the office is the extent of disruptions within the workplace. Workers face an average of 13.9 interruptions per day, and it can take workers 20 minutes to recover from a distraction, according to the State of Work 2020 report from Workfront. The same survey found employees spend less than half of their workweek on their primary duties.

Considering the modern workforce and the endless possibilities that technology offers, the question is, why do organizations stand for continued disruptions? They can change it; they just need to act on it.

Read more about the changing face of the modern workforce in my new piece for No Jitter. Are you enabling the modern workforce? Do you empower your team to work wherever is most convenient for them?


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