Gen Z (18-26 year olds) are a unique generation in so many ways. Not only are they the first digital native generation, but they are the largest cohort in history.
Because of this, and the fact that their attitudes and perspectives have been shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic, Dell Technologies decided to survey 15,000 Gen Z individuals to find out their views on technology.
The report found that “Gen Z views the role of technology as central to addressing and preparing for some of the greatest challenges we face today, and will face in the future.” For instance, 64% of the global respondents said they think that technology can help address the climate crisis.
Therefore, it is no surprise that Dell’s report also found that Gen Z sees digital workplaces as mission-critical in the future of work.
According to Dell, “a superior digital workspace enables workers to easily and securely access the applications and resources they need to do their jobs, no matter where they are or what device they are using”.
Given that Gen Z are more keen to be in the office than older generations – this has been noted by previous studies, and Dell found that while 29% see flexible and remote work as important when choosing an employer, the same proportion also value nine-to-five office hours – Dell recommended that employers embrace a range of flexible working arrangements.
Flexible working models don’t just require top-notch technology, they also need the right culture to ensure that employees feel included. This will, in turn, drive productivity.
How to close digital skills gaps
Dell research moved away from working models, and towards digital skills, and Gen Z’s attitudes towards addressing current shortages.
The report found that Gen Z recognize the necessity of developing digital skills for their future careers – 36% plan to acquire new digital skills and 40% see tech skills as essential to their future careers – but they are also frustrated their education didn’t prepare them better for the world of work.
44% said they were only taught basic computer skills, while one in ten said they were taught no tech or digital skills at school.
Talking about the findings, Dell’s UK&I HR director Dan Grant tells UNLEASH: “It is clear that Gen Z is conscious that their education could be leaving them underprepared for their future careers, but this brings with it an opportunity as an industry to lean in.
“HR plays a key role in digital transformation in the workplace by establishing a learning ecosystem that engages employees. We must ensure we equip employees with the right technology ecosystem and, importantly, that they feel empowered to use it.”
Gen Z (44%) also believe that businesses need to work more closely with the public sector, and particularly education to facilitate their hunger for learning, especially around digital skills.
Grant adds: “By clearly identifying the areas that Gen Z feel are lacking, businesses can be targeted and tailored with the training courses they offer and work with relevant educators to help bridge the skills gap.
“Focusing on education at all levels will ensure that it is diverse and fit for purpose, improving employee motivation, bolstering productivity and development amongst staff, and giving them confidence in a bright future.”
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