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Gen Z ‘most problem-solving generation ever’ survey finds

A new survey by EY Ripples and JA Worldwide asked 6,000 Gen Z participants how they’d reframe business and education. The results indicate an optimistic and pro-active generation entering the work force.

When trying to understand different generations of employees and workers, it can be difficult to know what drives and motivates them – particularly as this tends to change from one to the next.

It’s in the interest of employers and companies to know what their younger staff want out of a career.

Data can help us to shape the modern work space with new needs and wants in mind, which is why EY Ripples and non-profit JA Worldwide conducted a study of 6,000 students to find out what Gen Z expect as they enter employment.

What were the results of the survey?

According to EY Ripples, the ‘key motivators’ for Gen Z during education and first-time jobs are ‘problem-solving, diversity, and original thought’.

This was coupled with ‘high levels of optimism and confidence about the future’. Participants said they had a strong desire for a new educational model that blends together virtual and in-personal learning, the former becoming significantly more widespread and accepted as a standard practice since the beginning of the pandemic last year.

Unsurprisingly, almost half of those surveyed said they want to be running their own business within the next ten years, a trend we’ve seen across multiple surveys and research papers over the last few years.

In addition, 82% said they felt hopeful about finding work and addressing global challenges in 2030, and 78% were positive about the emerging trends such as globalisation and automation that are changing the future of employment.

Most said they were confident with using technology and learning new automation process when starting a job too – which means we’ll likely see a large majority of the workforce in the next decade or so completely embrace fresh tech and novel ways to boost production.

Overall, it seems Gen Z are quick to accept modern trends and fluid workspaces, with a key goal of improving the planet and changing the way we view work, whether that be practically or culturally.

What does this mean for the future of work?

All this is fine and dandy, of course, but what does it actually mean for the workplace?

For a start, we’re likely to see a lot more smaller start-up companies and individual businesses pop up as Gen Z enter adulthood. With so many of us wanting to build a career on our own terms and be our own boss, the big corporate jobs become less appealing.

We should also expect fluid workspaces that take advantage of home setups as well as offices. The pandemic has normalised productivity from home and this is unlikely to go away completely even after the virus has passed.

Brands will need to work to improve the world as we enter critical stages of the climate crisis in the next ten years, too. Gen Z want to help fix or improve the situation we’re in now – and that extends to their careers and employment.

Expect more climate-focused initiatives, sustainability work, and a ton more motivation to fix the world. Sounds like a few solid reasons to be hopeful, eh?


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