7 Things Gen Z Seeks in the Evolving Workplace

Grant H Brenner
6 min readMar 11

Relationship in the workplace becomes the foundation for new models for employment and collaborative work partnerships

Generation Z, as it were “digital natives”, are people born between 1997 and 2012 [the author was born in the1970s and started using computers from a young age, but whatever]. This generation grew up with technology (literally) at their fingertips. They tend to see life, society, and work differently from previous generations.

As they have entered the workforce, we are seeing transformation start to take hold, amping up uncertainty about the very future of work and society. What they want from the work place is the most basic question — how the workplace will evolve around them and in response is another story altogether.

“And even when the apparatus exists, novelty ordinarily emerges only for the man who, knowing with precision what he should expect, is able to recognize that something has gone wrong.”
― Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

The future is ambiguous, but we are starting to get a sense of things younger people seek from their income-generating hours.

1. Work-Life Balance

Gen Z values work-life balance more than any other generation before them. They want flexibility in their schedules, such as remote work options and flexible hours. Perhaps… “work-play” balance is a more apt term .Research shows that Gen Z is willing to take a pay cut in exchange for a better work-life balance. This desire for balance has roots in attachment theory, which persuades us that early childhood experiences help shape adult relationships and behaviors.

Raised by (or with) parents who worked too hard and may have dropped the ball on family and love, Gen Z folks may not want to spend their youth in brittle pursuit, wiser to the need to seek meaningful experiences earlier on in life rather than waiting until vitality wanes. At the same time, they may have trouble connecting deeply with others, preferring looser attachments, encouraging a more hedonic, pleasure-oriented lifestyle.

2. Professional Development

Grant H Brenner

Psychiatrist, Psychoanalyst, Entrepreneur, Writer, Speaker, Disaster Responder, Advocate, Photographer