Research unveiled by Dell Technologies has highlighted the attitudes and perceptions of Generation Z (those born from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s), as they begin to enter the workplace. In particular, the findings reveal that 73% believe technology and automation will create a fairer and more equitable work environment for their generation than previous ones – for example, by providing decision-making data that prevents discrimination based on gender, race or age.
The global study, conducted by Dimensional Research, was fielded in 17 countries and 12 languages including 706 individuals from the UK aged between 16 and 23. It provides a look into the expectations and the role technology will play as they look to enter the workforce in the coming years.
Not only are Generation Z optimistic about how technology and automation will impact the workplace of the future, but the appetite to work with new forms of technology is seen as one of the greatest attractions to starting their career. 80% want to work with cutting edge technology and 91% state that the type of technology offered by a company would be a deciding factor in choosing between similar job opportunities.
Generation Z are also keen to share knowledge be it with humans or machines – 85% would be comfortable mentoring an older co-worker who was not as comfortable with technology as they are, and 90% believe we are entering a new era of partnerships with machines. 45% say humans and machines will work together as an integrated team, while the remaining 45% believe machines will continue to be a tool for humans to use as needed.
But, while this generation might be confident about their own technology skills, that doesn’t equate to workforce readiness; 88% have concerns about starting work and only half (53%) rank their education as good or excellent at preparing them for their future. They’re also not solely focused on technology as a deciding factor for where to start their careers.
When looking at potential employers, Gen Z are looking for more than just cutting-edge technology and a good salary, with 32% wanting to work for a socially or environmentally responsible organisation and half (50%) wanting the ability to learn new skills and have new experiences through their work. More than half (51%) also want work that has meaning and purpose beyond getting paid.
Claire Vyvyan, SVP UK & Ireland, Dell EMC said: “It’s encouraging to see that Generation Z want to work in a fair and balanced workplace, powered by advanced technology. They believe this technology will bring equality and will require it of their future employers. To engage this generation, employers will need to invest in both the back and the front office – providing the front-line tools and the machine-refined insight modern workers will look for.”
Ian Golding, CIO, the Natural History Museum commented: “We all know how important technology has become at work and in our home lives and Generation Z are well equipped to bring these skills into the workplace. It’s important to empower this generation to see these skills as transferable and recognise how they can be applied to a professional work environment.”
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