On the tube into work this morning, drinking my skinny vanilla latte and eating my punnet of blueberries I was struck by an article in City AM talking about the relationship Gen Z have with technology and the implications it has on organisations looking to attract, engage and retain talent. The standardised approach to development, benefits and rewards doesn’t feel fit for purpose for the emerging workforce.

United Nations data shows us that Generation Z – those born after 2000 – will account for 32 per cent of the global population in 2019, and when combined with millennials, over 50 per cent of the global workforce by 2020.

It is easy to dismiss the youth of today as entitled, self-centred, glued to their phones, and lacking depth and critical thinking. Conversely many young people today a sense of responsibility and emotional awareness with conscientiousness and drive.

Research conducted by the University of London and tech giant Huawei, investigated the life and work realities of Gen Z and what matters to them, as well as what can be done to support them as they advance their careers.

The research revealed the rise of a new tribe within Gen Z – a tribe of individuals who express themselves with confidence and style, collaborate with others, engage meaningfully with the world around them, and are motivated by purpose and passion in everything they do.

Described as the New Working Order  this tribe makes up around 40 per cent of Gen Z, using smartphones and technology to enhance creativity and productivity. They value work-life integration, flexible working, and multi-experience lives, as well as continuous learning and moving freely between loyalties.

This group is workforce-ready, fiercely ambitious, and driven to make substantial changes to the world around them through not just ideas but execution.

This self-starter attitude contrasts dramatically with false narratives like “Generation Snowflake” which suggest that these young people are precious, pampered, and too easily take offence.

The reality from the research is that they just get on with it, and will work through any obstacles put in their way.

In fact, over half of the New Working Order already pursue passion projects and side hustles, with nearly 6 out of 10 hoping to turn that into their main income stream in the next year.

The New Working Order also set themselves apart through their relationship with technology.

One of the most staggering findings from the study is that two thirds of the New Working Order are unable to create or innovate without their smartphone. They live, breathe, and learn through extended cognition as a means of understanding themselves and the world around them.

This generation also prefer to learn through a range of different mediums – from formal coursework to informal online learning. Having grown up as entrepreneurial freelancers, these individuals are more open to alternative forms of education as well as creative solutions for funding it.

For this reason, businesses seeking to attract these candidates should consider a corporate learning programme that includes aspects like self-directed learning, collaborative problem solving, and practical and real-world experience. Crucially, of course, they should also all leverage technology.

As a society, we have a responsibility to equip this generation not just with content but with resilience in our changing, technologically-infused world. If not we are in risk in creating Blue Mondays for our future workforce.