Gen-Z Business Culture in a Post-COVID Era

By Joshua Reid

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The work environment of a company pre-COVID shifted once the pandemic hit. Where once businesses could hold in-person meetings or high school and college kids could find on-site jobs and internships for the summer, COVID-19 changed the future landscape of how companies conduct themselves and how Gen-Z interacts with those changes. For Gen-Z pre-COVID, finding a job or internship was a great way to make themselves known to potential businesses and recruiters. However, with the pandemic and the switch to online platforms like Zoom or Google Meet, the work environment for businesses also had to change.

How does that affect Gen-Z in a Post-COVID Era?

If the pandemic has shown businesses and society anything, it’s that an online, digital landscape is required after the pandemic. For businesses in the post-COVID era, the work environment changes the relationship between businesses and their clients and the dynamic between businesses and their employees. As Gen-Z struggles to find jobs and internship opportunities during and after the pandemic, how a business’ work environment handles the emotional, physical and mental toll the pandemic had on Gen-Z is one factor that companies will have to think about.

A survey conducted by The Center for Generation Kinetics showed that one third of Gen-Z employees are finding remote working challenging and how it’s hurting their work-life balance. For Kathy Gurchiek, the author of the article, the younger the employee, the “more likely they were to report feeling emotionally drained from work” (Gurchiek).

Additionally, Jessica Stollings-Holder, the president of ReGenerations, argues that just like the Great Depression and WW2 were for the Silent Generation (c. 1925-1945) and 9/11 was for millennials, “the COVID-19 pandemic and the Great Recession of 2007-09 have been major impacts on the formative years of this generation” (Holder).

The COVID-19 pandemic is already shaping the future of businesses and business culture. This includes how it’s shaping Gen-Z and their ability to find suitable jobs and internship opportunities tailored towards their degree or career interests. For example, how businesses engage with Gen-Z during the pandemic could shape how Gen-Z finds themselves after it. Suppose enterprises can find ways to show that they are listening to the worries and opinions of Gen-Z. In that case, they might be able to create a more cohesive work environment that allows Gen-Z the opportunities to find their footing.

According to the SHRM article, Gen-Z doesn’t enjoy working online but rather in collaboration with one another. In another SHRM survey, most Gen-Zers “are willing to work from home about 33 percent of the workweek—the equivalent of 1.5 days.” For Gen-Z, collaboration and interpersonal communication are great ways for them to reconnect after the pandemic and engage with their work environment. In addition, the experiences Gen-Z has had with the pandemic could also shape how they deal with the culture of a business. Thanks to the added physical, emotional, and mental stress of the pandemic, the work environment for Gen-Z could see changes thata persist after the pandemic. Whether through a hybrid system where employees work part-time at home and part-time at work or a different method, the work environment for employees should consider their mental health.

In an article by Gulf Business titled “Gen Z’s role in fuelling post-COVID economic recovery,” Joe Baguley writes that some businesses managed to adapt to the pandemic by operating through a digital landscape. Baguley argues that the only way for the global economy to recover is to employ the younger generation’s knowledge, skills, and abilities. For Baguley, the pandemic is the perfect time to “bring them into business.”

The pandemic, although hindering Gen-Z from in-person job or internship opportunities, showcased how they could adapt to various digital platforms. This adaptability is crucial to a business’ work environment post-COVID. Through digital platforms, Gen-Z is able to hone their digital skills and apply them to businesses and job opportunities in a post-COVID era. 

“Gen Z has the aptitude for the learning this requires; they’ve got the passion for a more sustainable approach to business, and they’ve got the digital knowledge.”

Joe Baguley


Baguley, Joe. “Gen Z’s role in fuelling post-Covid economic recovery.Gulf Business. Accessed 16 June 2021.

Gurchiek, Kathy. “COVID-19 Pandemic Is Hitting Gen Z Hard. Find Ways to Connect.” SHRM ”. Accessed 16 June 2021.

Photo by Edwin Hooper on Unsplash

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