Depending on when you are reading this, the outbreak of COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus, may have already been brought under control. Or, it may still be on the rise, disrupting global supply chains, rocking economic sectors from health to hospitality and shutting schools, universities and places of leisure worldwide.
And just like the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 were for Millennials (born between 1981-96), this pandemic is likely to be the Threshold Moment – the moment when everything changed – for members of Generation Z (born after 1996).
And you know what? They’re much more ready than we may have realised.
Say what you will about Gen Z – they’re anxious, they’re socially awkward, they’re clueless about history and cultural norms of even a few decades ago, they have zero understanding of professional norms.
Such commentary typically comes from their bosses and managers as they enter the workforce. But Gen Z are also completely at ease in conducting their lives from the mobile dashboard. Seamlessly moving from platform to platform to execute and keep a multitude of tasks in play.
Given the global turn to remote working in the interests of safety and limiting the spread of the Coronavirus – another Threshold Point (this time for all of us) – Gen Z’s ease in adapting their personal spaces into ultra-targeted and efficient command centres, will be important to learn from.
Of course, in a multi-generational workplace, every cohort has things to teach and offer to the others in terms of guidance, leadership and experience. But for those of us who have a Gen Z colleague, it may already be time for them to take the lead, showing us how to preserve efficiency, productivity and focus while working remotely, far away from the emptied offices.
Because Generation Z’s Threshold Moment, is likely to become the new normal.