Dirkje van den Berg wrote her Bachelor’s Thesis for Breda University of Applied Sciences, with a focus on International Facility Management. Such research focuses on the needs and desires of Generation Z regarding their mental well-being during the new hybrid working concept. Her bachelor thesis provides an advisory report for employers to provide the right facilities to Gen Z young professionals. In this way, organisations can positively influence their mental well-being in the hybrid workplace (at home and on-site). And as a result, attract and retain top talent of Generation Z. In this blog, we highlighted her main conclusions.
Understanding Gen Z young professionals
The pandemic brought huge changes in the way of working. At the start, employers switched to creating a COVID-safe workplace for their employees, while many of them worked from home. Now the COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted, and hybrid working is here to stay. Employers need to face (again) the challenge of how to care for the well-being of their employees in times of hybrid working. Generation Z started their career at a time when the workplace was changing function and needed to deal with this unique set of circumstances. Onboarding and finding stability during these times is extra challenging. Indeed, young professionals of Generation Z are reporting higher rates of anxiety, depression, and stress than any other generation.
The main reason for the low mental well-being of Young professionals of Generation Z is the lack of physical connection with colleagues which resulted in Gen Zers feeling lonely and isolated from the company and therefore feeling stressed or anxious. Secondly, they showed an existing temptation to an increased workload since there is a disconnection between work- and private life due to remote working. And lastly, virtual meetings are triggering fatigue for Generation Z employees and a feeling of disconnection from the company.
How to support Generation Z employees
The insights of the research that has been conducted led to the following recommendations. Firstly, employers should provide facilities in the workplace to support the social interaction between Gen Z colleagues. Allowing time for Generation Z employees to socialise via chats and discussions during the day. Besides, employers need to encourage Gen Z to visit other colleagues in person instead of via phone, email and video calls. In addition, employers should organise work activities and social events to make sure their Generation Z employees keep in regular contact. Next to that, employers should make sure that this generation does not use their laptops or computers after 22:00 anymore. By stimulating flexibility on where and when to work. Finally, employers must simply recognize the hard work of their Gen Zers and respect the time away from the office for Gen Z employees while promoting and encouraging a healthy lifestyle amongst their Generation Z employees.