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Gen Z in the workplace: is this generation lazier or smarter?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

Generation Z constitutes almost 2 billion of the world’s population, they are also the first fully global population, thanks the internet. But we are here to discuss the main factor that distinguishes this generation from it’s ancestors, the difference in the perception about success in academic and professional life.

Is money really the anthem of success?

Given the fact that this generation experienced the Great Recession (2008-2009), a hard period for the pockets of the working class, people may think that this group would be motivated by more financial stability. But surprisingly, it doesn’t work that way. Instead, the young workers of this generation developed different work style’s and career aspirations that don’t put the money on top of everything.

So, it is not just about the money that they can make, but mostly about a work that is not boring. A work that has something good to offer to the global community. Another thing that has a major power to them, is the diversity factor, not just on race and gender matters, but also on different ways of living.

The past is for learning, the future is for growing

In order to improve the present, and to always look forward, this generation will call for a return of the past, when people were multitasking and used to devour all kinds of knowledge. But this old habit can lead us to think: is this the smartest way to improve your skills? Is this generation lazy for not doing different things at the same time and choosing more wisely where and how to spend their precious time?

Despite the amazing skill of past generations of always putting their focus on having a steady living and paying the bills, it’s important to learn with the younger generations and their luminous optimism.

The kids are talking

The main trigger for the war between generations is the constant activism for re-educating the world. They have been protesting on disparities in the workplace and people who have simply done damage to them. This can be frustrating to people who have overcome similar issues, but were not encouraged to talk about it and just accepted the rules that were imposed on them.

Is productivity not a priority anymore?

What can lead to Gen Z being called lazy may not be lack of ambition from them, but the change on their relationship with work. And the key factor that promoted this behaviour may be the experience of growing up with parents that dedicated their whole life to a job and most of the times were not rewarded properly. As we call today, the “workaholics”.

Another thing that contributed with this stigma is the remote work, which emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is certainly a habit that fomented to build Generation Z’s image as people who have a lack of responsibility with work and following routines.

Gen Z has been criticized for having the most difficult work employers of all generations. After receiving a lot of negatives feedbacks from managers and older employers, those young workers have revealed that most of them are not fulfilled with their jobs and have questioned the compensating system of the companies that they work for. According to them, if you are not having the proper results, the balance between work and life becomes unbearable.

One thing that maybe all the generations can agree is that, becoming older comes with so many responsibilities that we haven’t been prepared before, and this has been discussed with great importance between the new adults of our society. They came to a conclusion that is very simple and smart, which is, when there is no balance in the professional life, the motivation to work hard becomes so much more difficult. 

Not everything should be a war

After going back and forth with the question about young people being lazy and hard to deal with, and if that is actually a generational problem, it is possible to make a conclusion and say that, maybe Generation Z has found a balance on dealing with the responsibilities of adulthood that the former generations were not used to, and not even exposed to talk about those hard patterns. 

Even if the youth is considered smarter, there are so many things that they could learn from the past and share with people that have more experience with the things that they are getting to know now. Without these generational conflicts, it wouldn’t be possible to discuss if society is moving forward or if it’s just getting worst, so instead of finding a single truth in this topic, it would be smarter not to encourage a war between them, but promoting more interest on learning with each other.

And if we are putting a end to this battle, maybe Gen Z could try a more friendly atmosphere to make hard changes on habits that are deep-rooted for a long time in society, and the older generations could be more open about the new ways of working and making your way through life with new resources that can make the hard routines a little easier.


The article above was edited by Isadora Quaglia.

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Mariana Funchal

Casper Libero '27

My name is Mariana Funchal, I'm 18 years old and I'm a Journalism student at Fundação Cásper Líbero. My main interests are in culture, art, history, music and especially languages and literature.