Gen Z worker
Younger workers are keen to fight off the negative perceptions of their generation in the workplace and have successful careers. Ketut Subiyanto/Pexels

Today's youth have negative perceptions of their attitudes toward work and what they hope to gain from it. Older generations often feel that younger employees are content with working as little as possible to get by or are just concerned with making money to pursue their other interests. However, Gen Zers are invested in putting time and effort into their careers and value it highly.

Research carried out by Seramount found that Gen Z is not too dissimilar to past generations and is perhaps more impressive in some respects. Workers from Gen Z and older generations were interviewed as part of the methodology.

Despite being accused of being money-hungry, Gen Zers do not desire a higher salary than older workers. The research found that 51 percent of young workers value their salary as the most essential part of being employed, while 47 percent of older employees have the same mindset.

Gen Zer's need for a hefty paycheck partially revolves around today's high costs and not wanting to live on a tight budget. Student loans can be expensive to pay off, so younger workers are determined to earn as much as possible early in their careers to rid themselves of the debt.

Also, housing and apartment shopping are much more expensive today for younger people than the overall cost of living, so a high desired wage is not unreasonable.

While making an adequate salary may be crucial to young individuals, they are also driven by the prospect of gaining trust from their bosses through "performing well" for them. Another thing that Gen Zers want to accomplish is progress in their careers and receive more significant responsibilities from their employers.

Seramount found that just over 30 percent of young workers believe they will be rewarded with a leadership position at their organization, whereas only 19 percent of older employees felt this would occur for them.

In addition, nearly half of Gen Z staff want the responsibility of leading a work team, compared to only 27 percent of workers from older generations who seek that authority.

A common discussion among many organizations today is the work-setting policies staff must adhere to, with remote working models often brought up. Gen Zers prefer spending time in the office, as just 11 percent of 400 workers interviewed as part of previous Seramount research revealed they would prefer working remotely full-time. Older workers were keener to be away from the office, as 34 percent stated they would like to work from home daily.

Senior Research Analyst at Seramount and fellow Gen Zer Jon Veasey-Deters mentioned to Business Insider that young workers today graduated when the world was adjusting to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He explained that this is why they are keen to be outside and interact with others, as most have never followed a non-remote working schedule. He added: "We're desiring that specific social element to our work and to better understand the colleagues that we're working with — and the organizations that we're a part of."

The approach young people have to go into company offices physically reflects the eagerness of the newest generation to enter the workforce. This can only be positive as it pleases employers and demonstrates a willingness to take their role seriously. However, Veasey-Deters warns that employers must provide Gen Zers with an excellent work-life balance and flexibility to retain them long-term. These are the workplace values young workers deem the most important.

Companies will be required to gather the preferences of Gen Z staff as they will gradually become more present in the workplace. A 2023 Glassdoor study revealed that Gen Zers will cover more jobs in the workforce than employees from the boomer generation starting this year.