The members of Generation Z are often referred to as "digital natives," having been born between 1995–2012, into a time of significant technological advancements. Members of Generation Z were between the ages of 7–24 years old in 2019. The world Generation Z knows has been impacted by the current technological environment including the use of personal smartphones and smart devices, the rise in social media use, and the preference of texting and instant messaging over voice/phone communications. The oldest members of Generation Z are just starting to enter the workforce. While there are studies on Generation Z's personal communication preferences and habits, there is very little research how these preferences and habits will impact business communication. This study examines specifically the older members of Generation Z, between ages 18–24 years old, who are currently in the workforce. The study gives insight into how Generation Z's personal communication habits are impacting their expectations of business communication..
The study includes results of a survey of 207 participants and in-depth interviews with six Generation Z members. The survey included both quantitative multiple choice and qualitative open-ended questions on the respondents’ personal and workplace communication habits and expectations. The in-depth interviews expanded on the findings of the survey and added additional context to many of the survey's findings.
Through researching the habits and expectations of members of Generation Z who are currently in the workplace, the study uncovered many unexpected attitudes and behaviors among working Generation Z respondents. These insights include: the
respondents’ awareness of the negatives of technology usage, differences in personal preferences and professional behaviors, the self-regulation of technology usage, and the concern for boundaries between personal and work life.