Generation Z may turn Polish labor market upside down as research shows significant changes in attitudes towards working

By Grzegorz Adamczyk
3 Min Read

The newest generation to enter the Polish labor market hold significantly different values and expectations when it comes to working than those before them, according to research by scientists at Warsaw University.

The research shows that today’s students do not want to be leaders, and they are willing to admit that they have little resistance to stress and pay particular attention to their mental health. 

Several hundred students at Warsaw University were surveyed for the purpose of the research, which was aimed at examining changing perceptions with regard to work and studies caused by the pandemic.

The conclusion of the research showed that Generation Z is the VUKA generation (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous), a generation expecting “to surf changes” and one that is attached to a digital version of the world. 

In Poland, it is a generation that lived through teachers’ strikes and a turbulent change in the schooling system, such as the abolition of middle school. One in five said that the pandemic had completely changed their plans for the future, and this was more often the case for women. 

The new generation certainly does not believe it will be attached to its employers. It sees potential places of work as purely an opportunity for self-development. It feels empowered by qualifications but it does not want to lead, and it is not really willing to be led either, as it is skeptical of any role models. 

Nor is the new generation particularly enterprising; companies are seen as stable places of work. The young want to work for someone else but on their own terms with just one in five respondents feeling that they would be best off creating a startup or their own project. 

Generation Z is highly aware of mental health issues and is willing to admit its lack of resistance to stress and total lack of tolerance for mobbing or discrimination. This, researchers feel, does not mean that it is a generation that is weaker or more dysfunctional, simply more aware of these issues. 

There is an expectation as well that managers should be viewed more as partners than mentors, and Generation Z perceives itself as already very knowledgeable and experienced, especially with regard to digital tools. 

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