Tips on How to Help Gen Z Navigate Remote Work
Generation Z, born between 1997 and 2012, are joining the labor market at rapid rates. The workforce they’re entering is markedly different from when Millennials took their first entry-level jobs, with remote and hybrid work becoming the dominant company structure.
For many Gen Zers, their first jobs will be remote.
Remote work has been hailed as an improvement for work culture by many. But how it hinders employees navigating the world of work for the first time is often not considered.
Remote work isn’t necessarily harder, but it’s different, and so are its challenges. Many of the standard lessons shared with up-and-coming workers no longer apply. So, how can Gen Z navigate the new landscape of remote work?
If you’re hiring Gen Z and are preparing them to start working remotely, use these seven tips to help them find their way.
1. Set Up for Success
There are small things Gen Z can do to set themselves up for success when working at home. Ideally, they have a separate space solely for work, but not everyone is that lucky.
Whether the employee is working from the kitchen table or a dedicated office desk, encourage them to take themselves seriously and not give in to the temptation to work in bed. Before beginning the day, they should create an actual desk set-up with a computer, calendar, and notepad.
2. The Phone is Not a Friend
Gen Zers spend tons of time on the phone, with an average of 4 hours and 15 minutes of screen time on mobile each day. In many ways, it’s a best friend. But at work, they should try to view their phone as anything but that.
Phones are highly distracting and can prevent workers from being fully productive. When they’re starting at their new job, urge them that it’s time to make a good impression. Putting the phone away during work hours or at least keeping it in another room than where they’re working can be helpful.
3. Stick to Structure
As a Gen Z, they’ve likely recently graduated from college. Before that, they spent twelve years in a structured school environment. Put that to your advantage. Building a structure is one of the essential components of a successful remote work environment. Creating a routine your Gen Z employees can stick to will go far.
Build a daily routine that gives structure to the workday with daily check-ins, meetings, and breaks.
4. Ask Questions in Abundance
Working remotely can make asking questions more intimidating for a newcomer. Don’t let the barriers of Slack or other messaging apps hold your team back. Even though they don’t know what their coworkers or managers are doing at any given moment, the questions they have are still valuable and valid.
Communicate that they can and should reach out with any questions they have along the way to keep communication open.
5. Network, Even Virtually
Virtual networking can feel silly, especially when half the group has their cameras turned off. Still, these virtual networking events can help forge a connection between coworkers who have never met in person (and may not ever). Otherwise, remote work can feel incredibly isolating.
Put in the extra effort and schedule virtual events like Thursday night happy hours from home and see the difference it makes. New workers should especially take time to get to know the other new hires, as they’ll likely be able to relate to many things and can lean on each other for help as they get accustomed to the new job.
6. Schedule Time with Upper Management
Mentorship and guidance from upper management can go a long way in helping newcomers grow their skills, understand company culture, and even figure out their path at the company.
Try to schedule one-on-one time for new hires with upper management. They’ll feel more integrated into the team and valued.
7. Tap Online Resources for Skill-Building
While in-office work often comes with perks like traveling to conferences, skills-building workshops, and more, most of this has gone away with remote work. That doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to continue growing your new hires’ skill-set so they can become better and more capable workers.
There are more online resources available today than ever before, and you should encourage any Gen Zers to take advantage of them to stand out among a class of new hires. It can also help drive passion and purpose by introducing them to opportunities to grow their knowledge and advance professionally.
Remote Work as the New Normal
The past few years have shown both experienced workers and those just entering it that remote and hybrid work is not a fad or a temporary change.
There’s a good chance that remote jobs will remain that way, or at most, transition to a hybrid work environment.
Employees must hire the right talent from Gen Z and know how to set them up for a successful career at the company. And that means putting resources and strategies in place to support this new wave of workers who have only ever known remote work.
To ensure you hire the best of the best Gen Zers, use ScoutLogic for background checks and employment screenings.
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