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Creative trend: What do Gen Z expect from workplace technology?

The Generation Z workforce expect even more from workplace technology than millennials. And that doesn’t just mean the latest MacBook Pro – having grown up with tech as part of their everyday lives, they don’t want to take a step down when they come to work. This is especially true with creatives, who have always been quite tech-savvy because so much of their work has relied on creative technology. Offering the best tech doesn’t just attract great staff, but improves the employee experience and productivity which in turn improves staff retention. Here’s how you can meet Gen Z's expectations with the best tech and attract the best employees.

 

Shariff Ibrahim

You might be thinking, "We've only just had to deal with millennials – who the heck are Generation Z?". Millennials, or Generation Y, can be defined as being born anywhere between the early 1980s and mid-1990s, whereas Generation Z typically have the mid-1990s to early-2000s as starting birth years. 

That means Generation Z have grown up with the internet and are comfortable with technology and social media. So if you're looking at hiring recent graduates, it can really be remiss to request "Skilled in Microsoft Office" on a job description, as most of Gen Z will be more versed in digital media than your average CEO, and will be expecting to come in and be kitted out with the right hardware and software for them to be able to do their job. 

 

Gen Z in numbers

Let's have a look at some stats around what Gen Z actually expect from digital tools. In a recent survey by Dell, 98% of the 12,000 Generation Z secondary and post-secondary students they interviewed reported using technology as a part of their formal education. Some 80% of respondents want to work with cutting-edge technology, and the same percentage believe tech and automation will create a more equal work environment. 

A collaborative survey by Randstad, Millennial Branding and Morar Consulting revealed that the industries members of Generation Z are most interested in working in are IT and technology, and they believe that a workplace that doesn’t adapt to today’s technology will soon become outdated.

 

The rise of smart technology

A common perception of 'baby boomers' is that "Young people these days are always on their phones". With smartphone and mobile device technology constantly evolving all the time and offering greater possibilities – digital creative apps, productivity features, health and fitness apps, email and messaging, payments and of course social media – it's no wonder that Gen Z feel so attached to their technology.

39% say their phone is part of who they are, according to The Irish Times, but devices are not a mere vanity or frivolity – in a survey by Vodafone of 3019 UK employees, 61% believe the quality of devices made available to them made them more productive.

 

Attracting awesome employees

And that desire for quality technology is a major force in attracting and retaining staff, and improving the employee experience. Ricoh report that almost three times as many Gen Zers are attracted to companies that offer technology to enable people to work more efficiently (28%) than those from the older generations (10%). 

Employees want to use the same technology at work that they do in their personal lives, and for many Gen Zers, this is now a deciding factor as to whether they accept or stay in a role. According to a recent survey by Accenture, nearly half of employees said their own devices are more effective than the ones provided by their employers.

 

Tech new starters might expect

So how do you ensure that you're offering the best technology to attract and retain the cream of the crop of Gen Z? Offering a decent workstation is the obvious starting point, as they're going to need the computing power to cope with numerous processor-intensive apps, especially if they're doing graphic design, video editing and the like. Here are a few more things you might want to consider... 

Apple. Without sounding biased (we are an Apple Authorised Enterprise Reseller, after all), as a highly desirable brand, Apple’s popularity can help to attract top talent. If a potential employee knows that an organisation is dedicated to investing in the latest Apple technology over outdated PCs, they may well be more likely to accept or remain in a role. In fact, we recently surveyed a group of students who said that more than 50% would prefer to work with Apple software at a future employer.

Creative tech. If you’re hiring designers and videographers, they’re already going to be working with creative tools like Mac, Adobe Creative Cloud and Wacom graphics tablets, so ensuring that continuity is key to boosting performance. Giving employees access to Creative Cloud for teams will ensure they get new updates straightaway too.

Mobile technology. While the latest iPad and iPhone could be seen as more of a 'nice to have' for most creative roles, with new creative possibilities in the form of apps like Adobe Creative Cloud's fantastic mobile apps, mobile devices are creeping in to the creative environment. Mobile technology also allows for remote working, ensuring employees can access file servers and keep in touch with the office from home if needed.

Collaborative environments. Collaboration is key to getting the best out of your teams – being able to adequately store and share projects, keep in touch and collaborate on work. With Adobe Creative Cloud, a good NAS and server infrastructure, online communication systems and web conferencing, employees can work together more efficiently on projects. 

 

Want to know more about some of the creative technology that will entice Gen Zers? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 204 or email DandP@Jigsaw24.com. For the latest news, follow us on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter.

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