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Psychology and Psychotherapy: Research Studys

Generation Z and its Perception of Work through Habits, Motivations, Expectations Preferences, and Work Ethics

Sefa Bulut* and Dilara Maraba

Department of Counseling Psychology, Turkey

*Corresponding author: Sefa Bulut, Department of Counseling Psychology, Turkey

Submission: January 25, 2021Published: February 08, 2021

DOI: 10.31031/PPRS.2020.04.000593

ISSN 2639-0612
Volume4 Issue4


Generation Z is the youngest and popular generational cohort who started to be investigated with interest in researches since its impacts are distinctly seen in various fields, and it is entering on labour market now. Generation Z has been growing in an era where technological advancement is fostered, and they are able to have access to effortless and rapid information through technological tools, like the Internet and smartphones. Like other generational cohorts, Generation Z has unique habits and personality traits since they experienced different social, economic or historical circumstances depending on the time interval in which they raised, and the perception of work and occupational habits are affected by those particular characteristics. This study aims to explore dimensions that are related to work, such as work habits, motivations, expectations preferences and work ethics of Generation Z in order to build qualified and effective current and future workforce and satisfied individuals in career path. Generation Z is tech-savvy who is shaped by the peak in technology, and it is individualistic, entrepreneurial, moneyconscious, and a multitasker. They like working collaboratively with personal autonomy in a flexible workplace that allows work-life balance and ethical working, and they need monitoring and feedback at work by their executives.

Keywords: Generation Z;Technology;Perception of work;Work habits;Motivations; expectations,preferences, work ethic and values


Although generational cohorts and differences between generations are a known notion by people, the Generation Z is the latest and salient cohort that differ from others, which are Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y (Millennials), due to their unconventional characteristics, and their impacts have become distinct as they started to involve in many different domains of the life. Despite there is some nuance in the age range, people who born after 1995 are involved in Generation Z with a general unanimous, and since the development of technology accelerated and began to take a concrete place in daily life at years when they born and raised, it can be said that technology is one of the major factors that shape the common trait of the Generation Z. Desai [1] states that Generation Z is unlike any previous generation, and they have strong relationships to all parts of the world, an ability for technological tasks and advanced social skills since they have been mingled with technology and its tools from when they were born. The world has been in a transformation since it existed through the social, political, geographical and technological changes, and people shed skin in each time by reestablishing their own understanding, world view, beliefs, norms, or habits. The variation in people is related to the term “generation” which means people who live in the same time period in a society or in a family. Its meaning can be expanded with the consideration of different aspects, which are chronological, political and social depending on age, social experiences that are shared and collective identity which historical alteration create, respectively [2,3]. The generational cohort is the more academic term that is used in various domains of literature research, and it is specified by meaning that people in the same generational cohort experience same time events and share similar values between the period late adolescent and early adulthood [4]. Although it does not mean that each person in the same generational cohort thinks in the same line and has the same values or beliefs exactly, there is a general pattern in way of behaving and thinking due to breathing the same atmosphere in terms of place and time.

Since every generational cohort has different experiences and is exposed by various dynamics, they reflect specific traits, and the differentiation is seen in their work habits and characteristics like in other areas. In this respect, it is beneficial to find out the major three generational cohorts, which are Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y (Millennials) in terms of characteristics in work and market labour in order to comprehend Generation Z at work. Baby Boomers, who are born between 1946 and 1965 when social, economical and political turbulence was acute, are described as team players, workaholics, quality minded, and the generation that is concerned more with self-development in a career than family [5]. Although Baby Boomers lived in a difficult period, their offspring were not as lucky as they were for finding a job because of the hiring insufficiency by government, the increment of temporary and part-time jobs rather than full time and reconstruction of the industries. Thus, they had to be less committed to work and prioritized extrinsic work rewards instead of intrinsic [6]. Millennials, which is also called Generation Y, are the closest generation cohort to Generation Z since they are just before itself, and they could reach the first steps of the technology era. Thus, Generation Z shares many aspects that are alike with Millenials although there are some differences in terms of work habits. Being self-centered, questioning authority, appreciating flexibility and improvement, seeking training and being socially skillful at work is some of the occupational characteristics, which are common with Generation Z, of Millennials [7].
The youth of Generation Z has entered the labour market to work, and most of them are preparing to get involved, so it is significant to figure out the common characteristics, and their perception of the work. Iorgulescu [8] states that since youth in Generation Z has arrived at the workplace, their characteristics, expectations, priorities, values and aspirations about the work are required to comprehend. Beyond individuals differ in a way of thinking and behaving in work and daily life, each generational cohort has unique attitudes, values and habits, so exploring, using and fusing the knowledge, which represents the characteristics of a generation, is crucial for the executives of the labour market in order to get monetary utility [9]. The current study is important to find out the characteristics and attitudes of the Generation Z in terms of both general and occupational in order to create a qualified workforce and happy workers who are productive at present and future. Thus, the paper aims to explore work habits, motivations, expectations, preferences, work ethics and values, by taking into consideration the role of the labour market, employers and the technology as factor that shapes characteristics of Generation Z.

Technology and Generation Z

The youth of Generation Z has always been able to reach the knowledge easily without much effort and raising in an era where technology is fostered is the reason for this opportunity. They have had more accessibility to get information through the internet smartphones and online networking at schools than previous generational cohorts, like Baby Boomers or Millennials [10]. Individuals of Generation Z cannot tolerate anything that processes slowly, rather they adore and appreciate the speed in each aspect of life, for instance, a video talking with a friend who lives on the other side of the world [11]. Technological tools and easy access to information have molded the character, trait, and habits of the people in Generation Z. Mccrindle [12] defines Generation Z with seven factors that it is internationally connected due to technology that enables to reach various culture, foods, social trends; is techsavvy because engaged technology from early ages; is visually engaged who tend to watch the video that provides overall quick understanding about a subject instead of reading an article; is the generational cohort took more years of formal education than previous generations; and is the group which is the most socially skilled and involved through the social media tools, like Facebook, Instagram.
Being online and informed about all things around them is one of the major concerns of Generation Z, and they prioritize sharing information rather than keeping to themselves, so it can be said that they strongly are good at social relationships. As it is said above, technology and its most distinct component Internet are two effective factors that shape the characteristic, attitude and manner of the Generation Z, and like each domain in its life is affected by technological tendency, their perception of work and work habits are also shaped by that impact. Dwivedula et al. [13] state that Generation Z has grown in technology era without any transition period, so it can be said that they are first digital natives, and they have greatly contributed to the workplace through opportunities that make convenience and more efficacy due to technological advance which is also used for working collaboratively with colleagues in a wide range.

Work Habits of Generation Z

It is not surprising that people of Generation Z tend to be more individualistic than any other generational cohort, and they look for personal benefit at work because of the dominant culture of capitalism that leads to individualism. In this regard, it can be said that three major characteristics are observed, which are individualistic, entrepreneurial and money-conscious of Generation Z in terms of work habits and characteristics in a job [14]. Majority of Generation Z does not have a long-term career, and they don’t care about to work for a long while in a firm or a sector, they can do various types of the job with the motto of Do- It-Yourself (DIY) [15]. The survey of Robert [16] reveals that the salary is the second-highest expectation of Gen Z, so they prefer to work in large scale companies that provide the opportunity for selfimprovement. However, it does not mean that they are not altruistic or are not able to work collaboratively in work. Richardson (2017) indicates that young people of Generation Z prefer to work in an environment that provides flexibility, collaborative working and personal autonomy. There are different opinions about the working efficiency of Generation Z with the consideration of social media usage. Although Gen Z are very ambitious and multitasker in the occupational fields, the quality of work performance during at work is damaged, because they engage in social media often. According to Jones et al. [14] states that individuals of Generation Z show less disciplinarity at work than previous generations by taking breaks that have short duration but more frequent, and they are not good at managing time effectively because of smartphones.
Contrary, it is said that despite Generation Z seems to be distracted because of social media tools, they are multitasker individuals who are able to do more than one work due to having a strong relationship with social media tools that allow transmitting occupational knowledge and aims by communicating and interacting with the wide range of society. Besides Generation Z have the characteristics of entrepreneur and brave, they are more careful in their career path by taking into consideration of what and how they plan to do. Johnson [17] claims that young people in Generation Z can be defined as independent thinkers and financially conservative who are more worried about the future, unlike optimistic Millennials that are the preceding generational cohort. They give great importance to health care opportunities, which are like medical, dental or mental health, insurance and financial stability which includes retirement benefits, perks and bonuses that should be provided by a job as a necessity [18].

Motivations, Expectations and Preferences related to Work of Generation Z

Characteristics and work habits of Generation Z has shaped its perception of work through the aspects which are motivations, expectations and preferences. Although going to a university is accepted as significant and the number of young people who acquired formal education more than any previous generational cohort, there is a considerable amount of senior or graduate young people who question the necessity of it. For example, Mkhize [19] states as a result of the survey which Universe carried out in 14- 18 ages, that most of Generation Z querying do they really want to go to a university or is a college is a utility for their future; and most of them think that there are no advantages to go a college because of fees and to serve only a stable career, rather they assume to be more competent by profiting from online free sources and courses, and be able to work in a project-based that they like, not employed for one firm or sector. Fodor et al. [20] carried out a study which aims to explore the viewpoint about a successful career of Generation Z with a sample who born between the 1995 and 2000 years, and it is founded that a job that makes them happy and satisfied with flexible working hours is one of the components of successful career since they give importance to work-life balance than their parent who sacrifices themselves by ignoring the engagement of social activities and health conditions for the sake of working, instead, they can able to manage time, so spare time for both family, work and hobbies. Also, they found that most of the respondents emphasized attractive environments that foster their performance in the work due to providing recognition, reward, and allowing creativity and ambition which are some of the distinct characteristics of Gen Z. Fratričová [21] conducted a study to explore the motivations and obstacles in work for Generation Z, and they founded that they are unmotivated if they do not like what they do, do not able to work harmoniously with colleagues, do not have a certain purpose, and they are overwhelmed because of excessive tasks at hand; contrary, personal development appreciate and liking work, working collaboratively with others, leadership and recognition lead them to become motivated in the workplace. May (n.d) states that Generation Z expect to be listened to and their opinions and suggestions are appreciated in a workplace, which provides the opportunity for growth, with an effective mentorship by employers or superiors.

Work Ethic and Values

Although the young individuals of Generation Z are defined as individualistic and money conscious, and they seem careless to social matters, contrary to this they are concerned for their career in the future, morality and ethics at work. Alter [22] mentions that Generation Z gives importance to financial stability, developing skills and pursuing opportunities in occupation, and since they appreciate diversity among people they don’t want to work in a business that marginalizes individuals because of sexual orientation, gender and ethnicity. Gen Z report by the Network of Executive Women (NEW) [23] indicates that 77% of the respondents, who attend the survey, consider social activism important as being a core value, and they don’t care not only the quality of products but also ethical values of companies that take actions by going beyond the only sayings about societal struggles, like climate change, sustainability, famine. For instance, Greta Thunberg, who is a young Swedish activist and was born in 2003, is one of the most prominent examples of the high degree social awareness of Generation Z. The speeches and actions of the girl with a diagnosis of Asperger and selective mutism, about climate change created great influence throughout the world. In this regard, she had served as a model how the latest generational cohort is sensitive to the earth where she lived than predecessors, who is the reason for the issue but is not involved in any solution of the problem, and how it is courageous and skillful they take responsibility to change.

The Role of Labor Market and Employers

The work characteristics and habits of Generation Z are essential to be considered by the labour market and employers to get the efficacy from what is done and produced. Lazannyi et al. [24] that companies are required to encourage employers to work collaboratively as teams and to become more socially active by providing an environment that enhances creativity, innovation and self-esteem, and satisfaction which are some traits and expectation of Generation Z in order to increase the turnover of the company. Individuals of Generation Z expect their employers to be honest, and rectitude by giving response for each asked question by them, and although they have a proclivity to be entrepreneurial and autonomous, they stress the significance and need of the monitoring role of leaders, who provide appropriate tools and feedback because they are overwhelmed diverse and extensive information which is supplied by Internet, and they are not able to distinguish which is relevant and which is not [16].

Conclusion and Discussion

To sum up, the paper illustrates the work habits, expectations, motivations, preferences which are related to occupation, work ethics and values with the consideration of the role of the labour market and employers for Generation Z who is substantially shaped by technology and its provided opportunities. Since they are native of technological advancement, they are internationally connected, effortless informed and socially connected. Also, because each generational cohort had differently experienced the time and its components, like economic and social, Generation Z forms a particular way of thinking and behaving at work [25-27]. The young people of Generation Z have individualistic, entrepreneurial, and money conscious characteristics at work, and they look for large scale companies that offer good salary and self-enhancement.
Although they can be easily distracted and the degree of work efficacy decrease because of technological tools at work, they are ambitious multitaskers who can deal with many tasks simultaneously. Generation Z desire to have autonomous, but they are good team workers if the appropriate monitoring and feedback are provided by employers. Despite the cohort is entrepreneurial and brave, people priorities the financial stability with consideration of health care benefits and retirement opportunities. The youth of Generation Z appreciate diversity depending on sexual orientation and gender at work and seek sensitivity about social struggles as ethical values of companies. The work environment that fosters creativity, self-satisfaction, innovation, collaborative working honesty, appreciation for the task which is done and flexibility that allows work-life balance is one of the important desires from the marketplaces and executives of the corporation. The paper contributes to the literature by demonstrating what work habits Generation Z has and how it constructs the perception of work since there is not enough research about the generational cohort which is a new and attractive concept due to its recognized impact and influence on many areas of the life.

Limitation and Recommendation

There are some limitations of the study since the term of Generation Z is very new and there is not sufficient research about it. First of all, the study could not fully support certain statistical data, because there are a few surveys about Generation Z, instead, specific organizations that are interested in the characteristics and the impacts of the generational cohort is available in the literature. The second constraint is that although the study demonstrates the habits and perception of the work of people in Generation Z, it does not show specific occupation types, like doctor or manager, that is preferred and with which proportions. The study is important to understand the habits, expectations and motivations of Generation Z who is the workforce at current and in the future, so it helps to construct an effective and efficient labour market with the happy worker. However, the study should be expanded to how career counselling should be given to the young individuals of Generation Z, what changes and modifications are necessary in career counselling in order to lead them to choose the best job and to establish a strong and productive labour market in the light of the knowledge in the current study.


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© 2021 Sefa Bulut, This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and build upon your work non-commercially.