Leading digital workplace for organisations with frontline employees, WorkJam has provided insight into the working preferences of Australian Gen Zs in response to the growing labour shortage crisis.

With nearly one-in-three Gen Z employees (27%) working fewer than 10 hours per week, the data shows a desire for additional work. As seen in Gen Z’s willingness to work, 60% of young employees are interested in working from two to three locations if it means access to more shifts.

Geographically, the cohort is prepared to travel to work. One-third of respondents (33%) say they would be open to travelling up to 10 kilometres for additional work. A further 29% said they would be willing to travel up to 20 kilometres, 10% up to 30 kilometres and 7% would travel over 30 kilometres. 

This trend was also reflected in the recruitment of those aged under 25, with 59% of respondents being more inclined to apply for a job if there was the possibility to work at multiple locations. 

Speaking to the research findings, WorkJam managing director for Asia Pacific, Andrew Myers said, “The data confirms Gen Z is an underutilised cohort and we should be leaning into their skills to fill frontline shifts amid a national labour shortage crisis. 

“The data also signals the changing work preferences of the generation. We’re seeing the impacts of technology and the gig economy as Uber and Fiverr among others infiltrate traditional frontline employment settings. With this, employers should be mindful that Gen Z will turn to these services as it offers greater flexibility and autonomy on how they work. 

“Employees now expect technology to be integrated into their work lives, with access to real-time and online rostering and communication – this is where technologies like WorkJam work best in managing frontline staff.”

While access to shifts is high on the agenda for Australia’s frontline employees, WorkJam’s report found that Gen Z employees see flexibility (69%) as the most important consideration when applying for a new role. This is placed higher than the opportunity for career progression through training (57%) and the workplace’s proximity to their homes (49%). 

Retail remains the top working preference for Gen Z, with the majority (31%) of the generation saying they are most interested in working in a retail setting. This was closely followed by a large cohort (29%) who said they were open to opportunities across all industries. Hospitality (17%) and administration/reception work (11%) fell behind, with fewer than one-in-five employees interested in working across either industry.