Managers have said Gen Z is the most "challenging" generation to work with.
Gen Zers are now responding to the criticism — and explaining why they don't want to work.
One Gen Zer blamed wage stagnation, while another said they are prioritizing work/life balance.
Gen Zers have been criticized for being the most "challenging" generation to work with, according to managers. They are frequently dubbed "lazy," too easily offended, and not productive enough.
Some managers have even said that Gen Z workers need to be managed "every second of their day."
But there may be more to Gen Z's lack of productivity than laziness and simply not wanting to work. Several Gen Zers have taken to social media to respond to these criticisms — explaining why they don't want to work and why they're often labeled as difficult to work with. Here are some of their reasoning.
They aren't fulfilled at work.
In one video posted on July 18, TikToker Kevin White said that Gen Z employees have been branded the most difficult employees to work with because they aren't fulfilled, and they don't tolerate "bullshit."
He questioned why employees must sit in an office for 8 or 9 hours a day when they only have a couple of meetings, and said that managers should let people work from home if they want to.
White also said that so many people are job hopping because they are seeking salary increases as a result of being extremely under-compensated while performing demanding, unfulfilling jobs.
"If you have no fulfillment at work, you're not being compensated correctly, and your work/life balance is shit, people are not going to work hard. It's really not that hard," he said.
They're considering new alternative types of work.
In one video, TikTok user @barbiebrains said that Gen Z grew up with new avenues for making money other than a traditional 9-to-5 desk job. "Maybe that altered their idea of what it means to work and do labor," she said.
She told viewers that Gen Z understands that expectations surrounding work have changed and that they don't have to work jobs they don't want to do.
"People have thrown so many things at Gen Z during our formative years, and now they're like, 'Oh, why is your perspective different?'" she said.
"It's because you made it different. You showed me a whole bunch of career options, you showed me a whole bunch of negatives associated with the traditional career options, and now I'm moving through the labor force in accordance with what I know," she added.
The TikToker also pointed out that many Gen Zers have traditional careers alongside other side jobs. "That alters your idea of how much you value your time and what you're willing to put up with," she said.
Wages have stagnated.
She said that lots of Gen Zers want to quit because they feel they're being taken advantage of and are not being paid enough.
She noted that back in the 80s, an average salary allowed people to afford a decent life, including enough to save for college tuition and buying a home. But now, with inflation and rising costs, wages have also stagnated.
Boomers are working for longer and are prioritized in the workplace.
In one video, TikToker @sarahelizabeth_000 said that many Boomers have "refused to quit" their jobs, which resulted in a "severe displacement of Millennial and Gen Z employees."
She said that many companies do not have the funds to give Gen Zers the raises they requested and that Gen Zers are often deprioritized when it comes to other requests, like working from home.
She also reiterated that wage growth has not been in line with inflation the US, and that because Gen Zers are less inclined to be allowed to work from home, they're likely spending more money spent on gas and commuting.
They are prioritizing more work/life balance.
She said that at the very end of the call, the interviewer told her she would need to be in the office five days per week, and she'd also need to make sure she was checking her emails and following up with people when she got home. They also told her that she would need to go into the office on one additional day over the weekend.
She said that she told the interviewer that the salary and the poor work/life balance were "not aligned" with what she wanted.
They are too burned out to care.
In a video from June 2022, TikToker @alyssa_bigbee said that schooling and standardized tests have put more pressure on Gen Zers that by the time they graduate into the work force, many already feel burned out. While she does not appear to be a member of Gen Z herself, her TikTok bio says that she works within the education system as a dance/movement therapist at a university.
She said that quality education has become increasingly difficult to access, and often requires near perfect test scores.
"Whatever you do in middle school is essentially laying the foundation for what you're going to do in college because that's what they shove down your throat," she said. "It's no wonder that you've got some kids that don't even want to go to college. They're tired."
The TikToker added that many Gen Zers are simply prioritizing their sanity.
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