Seramount study shows Gen Z favors coming into the office more than older employees and feels equally inspired by their companies to work hard

WASHINGTON, DC, February 13, 2024—Seramount, a workplace research firm that serves more than half of the Fortune 100 companies, released a new report that explores age-related employee workplace preferences. The report, “Gen Z Decoded: New Data on How Your Youngest Employees Want to Experience Work,” dispels common misconceptions about Gen Z to help HR leaders recruit and retain early-career talent.

“Much of what has been written about Gen Z workers is wrong, particularly concerning work ethic and supposed apathy toward coming into the office,” said Seramount Research Analyst Jon Deters. “The new Seramount study shows Gen Z workers are just as dedicated to their jobs as older colleagues and desire opportunities for in-person collaboration even more than Gen X, Millennials, or Baby Boomers, especially following the pandemic.”

Busting Top Myths About Gen Z Workers

They do not hate coming into the office.

Only 11 percent of Gen Z workers want to be fully remote, compared with 34 percent of older workers. Seventy-four percent of Gen Zers prefer some type of hybrid work arrangement, compared with only 52 percent of non-Gen Z.

Gen Z workers do not care more about salary than older employees.

Just over half of Gen Z respondents (51 percent) indicated salary is the most important aspect of a job, similar to the number of non-Gen Z respondents (47 percent).

Gen Z employees work as hard as their older colleagues.

Forty percent of Gen Z employees say they are inspired to work hard at their current company—the same percentage as non-Gen Z participants.

Younger workers do not switch jobs for frivolous reasons.

Seventy-two percent of Gen Z workers expect to leave their current company in the next five years compared with 43 percent of non-Gen Z. However, early-career employees say they are likely to change jobs because they feel they can learn more or earn more elsewhere—a trend among younger workers that has remained true for generations.

“The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that one-third of the US workforce will be Gen Z by the end of this decade, which makes the transience of Gen Z workers especially challenging to companies,” Deters added. “Rather than clinging to stereotyped assumptions about younger workers, employers would be better served by understanding what motivates employees of all ages.”

The Seramount report includes advice for Talent and HR leaders on how to recruit, retain, and manage Gen Z workers more effectively. Chief among these recommendations is offering better career development resources and personalized development plans. Other recommendations include staying committed to hybrid work policies, clear communication, and training managers to nurture early-career talent.

About the Study

The Seramount study was conducted via anonymous virtual listening sessions (called Employee Voice Sessions) with nearly 400 employees, including 110 members of Gen Z and 276 members of older generations, from 21 US companies across multiple industries. Participants represent a mix of gender, race, ethnicity, tenure, job level, and other demographics. Seramount focused its study exclusively on current employees rather than including younger members of Gen Z (many of whom are still teenagers) or older Baby Boomers who have already retired.

The Seramount research team also reviewed over 200 books and articles culled from academic journals and news sources to understand current explorations of Gen Z.

For more details on the survey results, please download the Executive Summary here.

About Seramount

Seramount is a strategic Professional Services and Research firm dedicated to supporting high-performing, inclusive workplaces. Over four decades, we’ve established a strong, data-driven understanding of the employee experience, which lays the groundwork for everything we do. Seramount partners with over 450 of the world’s most influential companies, large and small, to offer pragmatic solutions including best practice DEI research, workplace assessment, employee learning and development, and talent sourcing. These offerings empower organizations to navigate a dynamic corporate environment and to cultivate a resilient, connected workforce that achieves extraordinary outcomes.