Understanding the differences between Gen Z and millennials: 2 ways Gen Z’s short attention span presents in the workplace

By Andrea Tamba · Sep 27, 2022

Millennials have long ruled the workspace, and have done their part in transforming the workplace with their own, unique set of expectations and priorities. But this demographic is rapidly exiting the working environment, specifically those with a career within hospitality. The rebuilding Hospitality: The changing Shape of the UK Workforce report has revealed that between December 2019 and October 2021, 210,000 millennial workers -those aged 25-40- left the industry. With this comes the introduction of a new ruling workforce: Gen Z.

Gen Z are known as the digital natives for a reason. They grew up with technology and have relied on this resource more than any other generation before them. They are constantly bombarded with information and are used to having the answers to their questions at the tips of their fingers. 

Although millennials have been present to witness this evolution into a more digitized world, they are accustomed to bureaucracy i.e. slower, lengthier recruitment processes. Gen Z’s exposure to technology has shortened their attention span to as little as 8 seconds, compared to millennials’ 12 seconds. So how does this short attention span affect the Gen Z cohort in the workplace?

A hatred for lengthy recruitment processes:

Gen Z’s access to instant information has meant they don’t have the time for bureaucracy. Long, drawn out recruitment processes can be discouraging to candidates of this demographic. They become disengaged and lose interest and eventually move on to new opportunities.

A Desire to multitask:

Being constantly bombarded with stimuli has positively affected Gen Z’s ability to multitask. In fact, they are masters at multitasking, and they tend to look for opportunities that will put this skill to use. This generation has a desire to constantly evolve, whether that is individually or personally. This drives them to seek opportunities that will compound their skills and develop the ones they already possess.

The most important thing to keep in mind when working alongside Gen Zers is that they need to be constantly engaged -this differs from individual to individual- which means that it is best practice for any organisation to have a wide range of resources available.