Generation Z will cause trouble in the workplace, survey suggests

Nearly two thirds (63 per cent) of older employees in the UK and Ireland expect workplace tensions to increase with the arrival of a new generation of workers into their companies.

According to new research commissioned by Ricoh the stark findings point to a corporate collision course, as for the first time in history a fourth generation – Generation Z – enters the working population.

According to a press release by Ricoh UK, the Generation Z includes those aged 19 or younger, who are just entering the workplace.

The good news is that the majority of workers in the UK and Ireland (89 per cent) surveyed from all generations believe that having a workforce of different ages is an asset to a company. However, the survey unearthed a key challenge that managers must overcome. Nearly two thirds (63 per cent) of older employees expect workplace tensions to increase with the arrival of Generation Z into their companies.

Over half (58 per cent) of Generation Zers have also accepted that they will need to develop their face-to-face communication skills to be effective in the workplace, it was said in the release.

With this new generation accepting that there is much work to be done before they even enter the world of work - and the next wave of technology-led change sure to soon hit and disrupt the workplace further - the need to establish environments that enable and encourage truly harmonious and productive working across the generations is paramount.

Phil Keoghan, CEO of Ricoh UK & Ireland, said: “These findings indicate that there is much work to be done to accommodate such varied experiences and skill-sets in the workplace. The arrival of Gen Zers only emphasises this challenge, while also presenting a huge opportunity to all businesses. As firms grow across the country, and indeed beyond, technology will become ever more important as an enabler of innovation and change, and Gen Z will place a critical role in this movement in the future.”