Born and raised in the age of digital technology, Generation Z has never known life without cell phones or the internet. Often referred to as “digital natives,” they comprise about 20% of the population in the U.S.1 and Canada2 and will soon surpass Millennials as the largest generational cohort globally.3 However, they aren’t simply “young Millennials.” They represent the dawning of a truly new generation, and their differences show up in their views on both life and work.
Spanning the ages from 10 to 25, the oldest Gen Zers have begun to enter the job market. With their unique perspective and passion for making a lasting difference, we can count on them to leave a major impact not only in the workplace, but on the world.
At Knoll, we wanted to get to know them better. Therefore, we set out to obtain a greater understanding of Gen Z as a generation and—more importantly—as individuals. We firmly believe that the organizations who understand “what makes them tick” will be better positioned to help them thrive.
As you’ll see, they are similar in many ways to each other and to those of us who came before them.
But while they share commonalities to each other (and to us), as they told us their stories we also learned more about what makes them unique.
Understanding this newest workplace generation will inform the decisions we make in terms of logistics and work culture. Like all of us, our youngest colleagues want to make their own mark in the world—and we are certain that getting to know them will help us foster their ability to do just that.
Gen Z: In Their Own Words