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Gen Z’s impact on the workforce: Are we changing it all?

Gen Z's impact on workforce values

Generation Z, despite their brief tenure in the workforce, has significantly influenced workplace dynamics. Prioritizing work-life balance, they have pioneered trends such as “quiet quitting,” “bare minimum Mondays,” and “lazy girl jobs,” which reflect a departure from traditional hustle culture. While many view this shift positively, it has also fostered certain negative habits among Gen Z workers.

Concept of punctuality

A survey by Meeting Canary of over 1,000 UK workers highlighted a stark generational divide regarding punctuality. Nearly half of respondents aged 16 to 26 consider arriving five to ten minutes late as equivalent to being on time. Conversely, 70% of baby boomers exhibit zero tolerance for lateness, emphasizing that any arrival post the agreed time is unacceptable. Millennials and Gen X are somewhat more forgiving, with 40% and 26% respectively being lenient towards lateness.

This trend is also observed among young Australian workers. Roxanne Calder, founder of Sydney’s EST10 recruitment agency, noted that tardiness has become commonplace for Gen Z, with many workplaces tolerating this behavior. Calder recounted instances where consistent lateness led to dismissals, such as a barista who, despite his tardiness, excelled at his job. This highlights the tension between maintaining strict timekeeping and recognizing the value of results and workplace harmony.

Gen Z’s fluid concept of punctuality is shaped by their experiences and the rapid pace of technological change. This generational shift has prompted businesses to seek compromises that ensure customer satisfaction while accommodating different perceptions of time. Calder emphasized that technology, while enabling efficient multitasking, has also blurred the boundaries between work and personal life, leading to a just-in-time approach to tasks.

ADHD and it’s influence

Additionally, the phenomenon of “time blindness,” often associated with ADHD, has come into the spotlight. A viral incident involving Sarah Trefren, who faced backlash for requesting accommodations for time blindness during a job interview, sparked widespread debate. This incident underscores the need for a nuanced understanding of punctuality and time management in modern workplaces.

Ultimately, Gen Z’s influence on the workforce is reshaping expectations and norms, emphasizing the importance of flexibility, results, and a balanced approach to work. As businesses adapt to these changes, finding a middle ground that respects diverse time management practices while maintaining productivity is crucial.

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