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Generation Driven or Disengaged? Third of young Irish workers dislike working in a team environment


Over a third of Irish Gen Z professionals (34%) have reported that they do not enjoy working in a team setting – with almost half (51%) stating that they ‘work better alone.’ 

  • 34% of young workers do not like working in a team environment
  • Half of young workers claim that they ‘work better alone’ 
  • Two thirds of managers claim collaborative working has declined since Gen Z’s entered workplace
  • 42% of mangers feel Gen Z’s lack adequate communication skills  


A further 62% of professionals state that the biggest impact to Gen Z’s entering the workforce is the decline in collaborative working – with a lack of communication skills (42%), team working (32%), and critical thinking (22%) from younger workers being the primary barriers to this. 

The findings – from a recent poll by global recruitment firm Robert Walters – will be a blow to many companies who are battling to bring five generations under one roof in a hybrid working world.  

Suzanne Feeney – Country Manager of Robert Walters Ireland comments:

Gen Z’s have the potential to revolutionise our ways of working and business practices, but workplaces risk standing still or going backward unless they understand how to bring the best out of this cohort. 

“Every one of us has weaknesses in our professional skillset, and so it is unfair to focus on what ‘isn’t working’ with younger workers – what about their strengths? 

“Young workers possess a unique set of skills and characteristics shaped by their upbringing and experiences. Understanding these strengths – and adapting to this – can ultimately lead to a more productive and successful workforce.”

Hidden Talent

Despite being hyper-proficient with technology, a third of managers state that they are unable to reap the benefits of their young workforce due to Gen Z’s poor interpersonal skills.

When analysing further, results show that Gen Z are highly adept at communicating through digital channels. In fact, 40% of managers have stated how impressed they were at the ease with which junior workers are comfortable using various digital communication tools such as instant messaging, video conferencing, and collaboration platforms. 

Suzanne adds: “Gen Z's ability to communicate effectively in virtual environments is valuable in today's increasingly remote and digital work settings – in particular with the emergence of AI and the potential this generation brings in teaching older workers the benefits of this. 

“However it is apparent that in-person communication and team-working needs to be built upon if we are to get the very best out of a multi-generational workforce and help Gen Z professionals to fully thrive in the workplace.”

According to a Robert Walters Diversity & Inclusion survey, intergenerational conflict is a key factor in employee turnover – with a quarter of workers stating that clashes with colleagues on ways of working is a contributor when deciding to leave the job.  

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