Business

‘They’re 25, they don’t care’

Don’t get too attached to your work inbox — Gen Z is trying to delete it forever.

The CEO of Wipro, an IT firm that employs about 260,000 people around the world, admits that 10% of his workers don’t check their email even once a month.

Thierry Delaporte claims he’s using Instagram and LinkedIn to communicate with his Gen Z staffers because it “works better” in a world where efficiency is key.

“They’re 25, they don’t care. They don’t go on their emails, they go on Snapchat, they go on all these things,” Delaporte told the Daily Telegraph this week.

The revelation comes as Gen Z workers are quitting — and not so quietly — in droves. To boost retention, experts advise creating “a workplace that is more attractive” to the younger generation, including employing alternative communication platforms.

“They’re 25, they don’t care. They don’t go on their emails, they go on Snapchat, they go on all these things,” Delaporte said of his Gen Z employees.
Bloomberg

“Younger people often have unique ways of approaching business practices like collaboration,” Creative Strategies CEO Ben Bajarin wrote in Fast Company, encouraging businesses to “adapt their tools” to meet Gen Z’s expectations.

“Their approach may have been influenced by tools they’ve grown up with in the consumer world, and it may not always fit with the most commonly used tools in business.”

A 2020 survey from Bajarin’s company, a consumer tech research firm, found that Google Docs, Zoom and iMessage are more frequently used for collaborative communication among those younger than 30 — far outpacing email.

A 2022 survey from ReWorked drew similar conclusions. The research found slightly more than half of the 1,000 IT decisionmakers surveyed preferred utilizing “real-time business chat apps” like Slack and Microsoft Teams over email.

Overwhelmed by unwanted spam and advertisements, email seems to be headed for the trash, following the likes of skinny jeans and blond hair.

“It’s actually crazy how outdated it is,” Adam Simmons, who created his own video production company following his 2019 graduation from the University of Oregon, told the New York Times in 2021 of email.

While he finds it “painful” to rely on Google Drive, Simmons argued he’d rather use “literally anything but email” to communicate.

“Email is all your stressors in one area, which makes the burnout thing so much harder,” he explained. “You look at your email and have work stuff, which is the priority, and then rent’s due from your landlord and then Netflix bills. And I think that’s a really negative way to live your life.”

close up inbox
We get the message. Gen Z employees are opting for instant messaging over email in the workplace.
Gil-Design

The push toward quick communication may be cross-generational. Farhad Divecha, the 40-something owner and managing director of marketing agency AccuraCast, told the Guardian even he “rarely” turns to email if something requires speed.

“I tend to send a [Microsoft] Teams message, or even WhatsApp if it’s really urgent,” he said recently. “I might send an email with details, but over the past three to five years I’ve learned that email’s just not good enough if you want something done quickly.”

Despite efforts to banish email in the workplace, its usage is still widespread. According to Statista, the number of emails sent per year has steadily increased — albeit little by little. An estimated 333.2 billion emails were sent last year.

The Guardian rounded up a handful of Gen Z employees who claimed they would “never” use social media to communicate with colleagues. Many said they are assigned a work email account that they check regularly.

“Like any professional environment, my workplace uses email,” a 25-year-old programmer named Owen told the outlet. “Were I asked to check something like Instagram at work, I would expect some kind of wrongdoing was taking place.”

Email fans may also take comfort in knowing that Gen Z constitutes only 25% of the US workforce.

“We can partner up with younger generations and add our experience to that, partner up with that community, or we can make enemies of the future,” Thomas Robinson, a senior lecturer at London’s Bayes Business School, told the Guardian. “But thinking you can hold back techno-cultural change is for the birds.”

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