Does Gen Z communicate differently at work?
I think I'm going to be sick.
I need to lay down.
Gen Z shakes up workplace communication
April Rubin, Axios News
Punctuation in messages to colleagues is out. Talking about mental health at work is in.
Why it matters: The labor force's youngest members are revamping the workplace with internet speak, attention to well-being and uncanny realness.
Older colleagues notice "just how frank, non-differential and empowered younger generations are in speaking their mind, calling things out" at work, said Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks, a professor of business administration at the University of Michigan. It's even motivated them to do the same.
80% of Gen Z employees in a survey conducted by Deloitte said mental health support and policies are important to them when considering an employer. For millennials, it was 82%.
Between the lines: The shift in young employees' openness spans everything from well-being to money.
Unlike some older colleagues, Gen Z has embraced salary sharing, said Christine Cruzvergara, the chief education strategy officer for career platform Handshake. They use this information to hold their employers accountable.
Younger employees seek out salary audits and data based on gender, race or location from their employers, she said.
"All of those things are now just expected," she said.
Maren Hogan, a member of Gen X and CEO at Red Branch marketing and advertising agency, said Gen Z employees helped normalize frankness about mental health in her workplace.
"They're more open if they think it's going to impact their work, or they just want to talk about it," she said.
Of note: Elon Ciriaco, a Gen Z-Millennial cusp who has worked in real estate, fintech and hospitality, said she doesn't relate to her older colleagues' guilt about forgoing overtime.
Getting along with her manager and coworkers though? Key.
"If I'm working late, I'm working late to help a friend," she said.
Zoom out: Younger colleagues, who grew up with social media, have been more likely to talk casually and about aspects of their personal life in the workplace, Sanchez-Burks said.
They have greater comfort "blending the way they can communicate with their friends and their co-workers," Sanchez-Burks said.
While virtual communication comes naturally, workplace jargon can read like alphabet soup.
For example, being "out of pocket" in the workplace can signal someone will be unreachable for a period of time.
But to Gen Z, the expression's meaning, with origins in Black American English, refers to off-base or unhinged behavior.
And all those periods and ellipses? Passive aggressive.