What Influence Does Generation Z Have on CRE?

Generation Z, the group born between 1997 and 2010, is growing up fast. To prepare for their arrival, they’re taking precedence over today’s Millennial generation.

As this generation is maturing and entering into the modern workforce, they’re having a strong impact on the world of business. Gen Z is already leaving their distinct mark on the corporate world as forward-thinking strategies are preparing for their arrival.

What Does Gen Z Want From Their Workplace?

With an approximated population of 61 million, there’s no question that Gen Z will make big waves in the workforce. Experts are expecting this generation to ‘radically change’ the contemporary office scene in every respect ⁠— from workspace design to corporate cultures.

That being said, everyone’s asking the same question⁠ — what does Gen Z want?

When it comes to the workplace, Gen Z isn’t shy about laying down their demands. Research and surveys conducted on this generation show that their priorities are quite different than their Millennial predecessors, who valued experience and work-life balance over all else.

Instead, the incredibly pragmatic Generation Z has named salary and security as their top professional priorities. A study on Gen Z conducted by Concordia University shows that 65% of Gen Z view salary as important, and 70% state that salary is a top motivator in choosing an employer.

Besides a hearty paycheck, Gen Z is interested in using the latest and greatest technologies to optimize their workflows. Digital infrastructures are important to Gen Z-ers who are interested in using their tech-savvy nature to the fullest.

An Evolving Corporate Culture

Gen Z is changing up the corporate culture set in place by the Millennials.

While the cooperation-loving Millennials enjoyed the message of ‘one for all’, Gen Z is more apt towards ‘all for one’. Generation Z believes their own professional success lies in their hands, and they’re ready to work their way to the top. Studies show that this money-conscious generation is willing to work overtime if it means boosting their salary.

Another difference between the lifestyle-perk loving Millennials and the work-centric Gen Z is the need for amenities. Generation Z isn’t looking for games and events, as they’re more interested in having the tools they need to succeed. Gen Z would rather work in an office that has great tech software than areas for frivolous fun.

In addition, Generation Z believes that face-to-face contact can’t be replaced by digital communications. Generation Z would prefer to handle things with straight-forward person-to-person contact.

But, this doesn’t mean that they’re looking for a highly social workplace. Privacy is important to Gen Z, who view boundaries and personal space as imperative to productivity. Gen Z doesn’t love the fully open-office concept, as they prefer quiet spaces and personal work zones.

What These Trends Mean for Commercial Real Estate

These trends are changing things up for CRE. To meet Gen Z’s high work ethic, office buildings need to expand their operational hours to account for overtime and weekend shifts. Tech-based areas are going to be replacing the fun-fueled amenities left behind by Millennials. Privacy-based design schemes will be shaking up the open-office concept, so developers should start designing easy-to-navigate floor plans featuring lots of personal space.