Lack of in-office experience shows many Gen Zers don’t know how to behave at work

London-based banking consultant Amy – an alias to which WorkLife agreed to protect her identity in the highly regulated financial services industry – has managed dozens of Gen Zers in the last couple of years. She has often been frustrated – and at times flabbergasted – by their attitude towards traditional workplace norms. She offered plenty of examples, but overall it’s the sense of entitlement despite a lack of experience that most sticks in the craw. 

“Many started their careers in lockdown, but they are super-ambitious and expect to be calling the shots. Yet when restrictions lifted, it became clear that they were unsure of the right workplace etiquette,” said Amy, who has worked for numerous banks in a 20-year career.

She explained how there was an agreed expectation for everyone to return to the office for one specific day a week to improve face-to-face connection and collaboration. However, Gen Zers would frequently not show up for the brainstorming sessions. “I’d have to call them to see if they were coming in, and they’d say: ‘No, I’m working from home.’”

Amy’s insights tally with recent Gartner data that suggests the rise in remote and hybrid working has meant that many career starters have committed faux pas due to having few in-person experiences. Expressly, this lack of face-to-face time in the office has limited the chances to observe workplace norms or determine what is appropriate and effective within their organizations. 

The full version of this article was first published on DigiDay’s future-of-work platform, WorkLife, in January 2023 – to read the complete piece, please click HERE.

Published by

Oliver Pickup

Multi-award-winning writer, content editor, ghostwriter, and TV and radio commentator (and occasional illustrator), specialising in technology, blockchain, startups, business, sport and culture. Founder of Pickup Media Limited. Interviewer of death row prisoners, legendary athletes, influential leaders, tech trendsetters, and cultural pioneers. By-lined in every English newspaper. Contributor to dozens of multinational publications.

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