January 7, 2016
Lisa Adams (Chicago), Jen Faist (Chicago), Elise LaPaglia (London), Donna Sharpe (DC), Josh Tooill (Shanghai)

Our team has embarked on our next phase: Critical Analysis and Survey Content Creation. We have successfully narrowed our focus to Generation Z. The goal now is to thoroughly take apart and look at the important segments of our literary review. Our team’s aim is to analyze and offer insights into the secondary research we have already collected, and begin to formulate our thesis.

In conjunction with that effort, we also are investigating ways to source primary research in the form of survey results, using QuestionPro – our corporate survey tool. We have the opportunity to leverage this tool and purchase a panel poll that will meet our data criterion to inform our area of research. We have identified that Generation Z includes individuals born from 1995 to 2010. With that in mind, we will be focusing on college-aged individuals, 18 to 20 years old – either full-time students or full-time working – as our target population for the survey.

Our progress to date in answering our three big questions includes:

Who is Generation Z?

Finding 1: The industry consensus is that Generation Z was born between 1995 and 2010.                                                                                                                                                                  

Finding 2: Generation Z is following their Generation X parents’ mindset and parenting styles, since generations are largely defined by the events that happen in the first 18 years of their lives.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Finding 3: Generation Z exhibits emotional and neurological differences, due to a heavy reliance on technology.

To begin the research into the future of work culture, we needed to identify who will be the future employees, for us to be able to predict 15 years out.  In that research, we were able to identify this group as Generation Z., which lead us to the questions, “Who is Generation Z?”

Generations Z already has begun entering the workforce, and will continue to do so for the next 15 years. Since generations as whole are defined by the events that happen in the first 18 years of their lives, we have a good understanding of the drivers and influences, as well as the parenting styles they are being raised under.

We have found that Generation Z has a unique culture, characteristic and behavior, with the major influence being that they are digital natives.

What Defines the Workplace?

Finding 1: By the time Generation Z enters the workforce, digital technology will be an aspect of almost every career path. Generation Z expects to work, not only in a home-based environment, but anywhere their work takes them – having a choice in their work environment, supported by mobile technology.

Finding 2: The workplace is incorporating more social features, in both physical and virtual environments.

Finding 3: Generation Z puts little value on privacy and relies on a more evident social structure, with constant social engagement.

The atmosphere and environments they have become used to in academia, tied in with their expectations of a superior technology interface, drives their perception that work can happen anywhere. More than any prior generation, we’re finding that the younger generations are seeking those opportunities to work, not only in a home-based or static environment, but anywhere they feel most productive and comfortable.

How Is Generation Z Different From Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials?

Finding 1: Generation Z is the “always connected” generation. This post-Millennial generation has a unique perspective, in that all the information in the world is made available to them at the touch of a finger. They will expect this connectivity and speed reflected in their workplaces.

Finding 2: Technology has freed this generation to become more entrepreneurial and independent.

Finding 3: Generation Z is proud of their accomplishments and wants to share them with the world via social media, which is second nature.

Finding 4: Generation Z is collaborative, but balanced. They are more cautious than millennials, similar to Baby Boomers, growing up amongst world crises.

Millennials are driving the sharing economy and post-Millennials are in the passenger seat. Need a ride? Click an app and your carriage awaits. Need a room, food, anything really, and it’s one app or click away, and immediate. This experience-driven lifestyle has allowed them to shed material things and focus more on events and shared experiences to fulfill their lives. As children of a recession, this experience has led Generation Z to be ambassadors of the sharing economy.

This next phase will be highly immersive and more technical in nature. We are looking forward to describing how Generation Z will influence and shape the workplace of the future.


Posted in Corporate/Office, Interiors, Research, Research for Research Page
Tagged idea fellowship

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