Gen-Z employees prioritizing work-life balance and co-working relationships, studies show

Published: May. 26, 2022 at 10:26 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) - With tens of thousands of students graduating college the last few weekends, most of them will be entering the workforce soon. However, are they taking the typical desk job? Many studies suggest “Generation Z” is prioritizing other things.

“When I first got here, I think I definitely had the common ambition of wanting to work for one of those big biomedical engineering companies,” Shivaen Ahuja explained.

Ahuja’s a recent Washington University graduate. He originally planned to major in biomedical engineering, then quickly added an entrepreneurship emphasis to better his chances in the workforce.

“I wanna design medical devices that are on like the forefront of technology. That’s why I have this combination of majors,” Ahuja said.

For Ahuja and many other recent graduates, start-ups and small or local companies are becoming more and more attractive.

“You get more of an opportunity to grow which, for me, is huge when I’m at this point in my career which hasn’t started. Also, I find from what I understand, start-ups tend to value work-life balance a lot more and that’s important to me,” Ahuja said.

Ahuja isn’t the only one. Just last year, Forbes reported 90 percent of Gen-Z workers want and value human connection when it comes to their work environment. Other studies show longevity and investment in employees is a top priority for 91 percent of graduates. One St. Louis based company is focusing its priorities on all of these aspects and more.

“Every single candidate talks about work-life balance, and that also reflects PTO, and how we give back to our employees,” Danielle Kelly said.

Kelly’s the HR specialist at SpearTip Cyber Security in Manchester. She said employee candidates are wanting a few things other generations didn’t.

“The newer generation is definitely asking for those hybrid work options and that flexibility,” Kelly explained. “They want to know that they have that potential to either grow within the company or grow within themselves. Whether that be working their way up the ladder or just gaining more experience to get them in a better seat later down the line.”

Similar to generations before, salary, cost of living, and inflation are also big factors. Ahuja said he wants employers to give Gen Z a chance.

“They just represent an opportunity for fresh ideas, unique perspectives and rapid growth,” Ahuja said.