Gen Z Doesn’t Want to Be Your Tech Support
It seems like every other day there’s a new study or article about Generation Z.
They’re the most diverse generation in history, they’re entrepreneurial, and they’re tech-savvy.
So it’s no surprise the idea of Gen Z being used as tech support by their older coworkers has become a viral Tik Tok topic of conversation.
With more and more Gen Z graduates entering the workforce, they are quickly becoming the go-to tech support in many offices, and while they may be more than capable of handling their older coworkers’ tech problems, there are a few drawbacks to this trend.
So before you start handing over your IT duties to your younger coworkers, there are a few things you should know, OK Boomer?
How has Gen Z become default tech support?
There is more generational diversity in the workplace now than there ever has been in history.
This means that it’s possible to see a workplace made up of individuals born in the 40’s and 50’s working alongside Gen Zers born in the late 90s.
Gen Zers are digital natives
Gen Z is the first generation of digital natives, meaning they grew up using the internet and are comfortable with technology.
As a result, Gen Z has an advantage over their older coworkers when it comes to understanding how to use even the most basic new technologies.
Over exaggerated resumes
According to OSlash an estimated 86% of workers have either exaggerated or flat-out lied about their level of experience and competency in using technology.
So, rather than outing themselves and admitting they don’t know something, older, less experienced workers are turning to their younger, more tech-savvy counterparts at work.
Why is Gen Z so tech-savvy?
Living in a tech-centric world
In the past, technology was something reserved for a select few but now it’s a part of everyday life for most people.
As a result, Gen Z has never lived in a world without these new technologies so using them and having them integrated into their lives is second nature.
The way Gen Z learns
Gen Zers are used to getting their information from the internet and other digital sources.
The integration of technology into classroom settings coupled with the fact that Gen Z is accustomed to taking the initiative to learn things on their own gives them a massive head-start.
TIK TOK VIDEO: Gen Z doesn’t want to be your tech support
In this viral TikTok video, Jareen Imam explains that while Gen Z may be tech-savvy, that doesn’t mean they want to spend their days at work helping their older coworkers figure out how to use new technologies.
In fact, most Gen Zers would prefer to use their skills and knowledge to do their jobs rather than act as office IT support.
How can you help Gen Z not become default tech support?
1. Google it first
Before you turn to your younger coworkers for tech support, try Googling the problem yourself.
Chances are, someone else has had the same issue and there’s already a solution out there.
2. Take the time to learn
If you’re having trouble with a new piece of technology, take the time to learn how to use it.
There are plenty of resources available online, and your company may even offer training.
3. Email official tech support
If you can’t find a solution online and you’re still having trouble, email your company’s official tech support.
They’ll be able to help you resolve the issue or, at the very least, put you in touch with someone who can.
4. Don’t take advantage of Gen Z
Just because Gen Z is more tech-savvy than other generations, that doesn’t mean they want to be your personal IT department.
Respect their time and skills by only asking for help when you’ve exhausted all other options and let them know what you’ve tried before asking for their help.
Why you shouldn’t treat Gen Z as tech support
1. They really don’t like it
As the TikTok video above demonstrates, Gen Zers really don’t like being treated as tech support.
Not only is it frustrating for them, but it also takes away from the sense of fulfillment they could be feeling from doing the job they were hired to do.
2. It’s not their job
Your company spent precious time and resources recruiting and hiring Gen Z workers for a specific role.
So, unless the company hired them in a tech support role, their job is not to spend time helping their coworkers learn how to open a PDF, upload a video, attach their wireless keyboard to Bluetooth, or help them troubleshoot any number of tech issues they may be having.
Time spent helping coworkers with tech support is time spent not working in the capacity they were actually hired for.
3. It sets a bad precedent
If you start treating Gen Z as tech support, it sets a precedent that will be hard to break.
Other employees will see that it’s acceptable to ask Gen Z for help and, before long, they’ll be bogged down with tech support requests.
4. It undermines their skills and experience
Though they are younger and possibly less experienced in certain capacities, Gen Zers have their own sets of skills and levels of expertise that they’ve spent years of schooling and working to hone that may have little or nothing to do with technology.
By bogging them down with tech help requests you’re sending the message that you don’t think they’re capable of doing the jobs they were hired for.
5. Be an advocate
If your company doesn’t have the necessary resources available to handle its tech support needs, be vocal about the need for additional tech support resources.
If more tech support is not an option, see if there’s a way you can help free up your Gen Z coworkers’ time so they can focus on doing the jobs they were hired to do.
What industries are Gen Z most likely to go into?
Gen Z in business services
Gen Z’s interest in business makes sense when you consider their entrepreneurial spirit and the shifts in workplace culture, and the Great Resignation caused by the Covid 19 pandemic.
Gen Z in healthcare
The healthcare industry is another one that’s expected to grow in the coming years, making it a good choice for Gen Zers who want to make a difference.
Gen Z in tech
It’s no surprise that Gen Z is interested in technology. They grew up with the internet and are comfortable using computers and other devices.
Gen Z employees are not the default office tech support
It’s important to remember that Gen Z employees are not the default office tech support.
While they may be more tech-savvy than other generations, that doesn’t mean they can or want to spend their days helping their coworkers troubleshoot technology issues.
Respect their time and skills by only asking for help when you’ve exhausted all other options and advocate for more tech support help for your company when appropriate.
By following these tips, you can help prevent Gen Z from becoming the default tech support in your office and help set future generations up for success.
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