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Getting ready for the ‘Gig Workers’

Stephanie-Hamilton-1-ISS-W1st_3124[1]By: Stephanie Hamilton, managing director, ISS Food & Hospitality

Generation Z refers to those born in the late 90’s and ‘noughties’. They are the ‘swipe, don’t type’ technology users, they find the 3D screens in the film ‘Minority Report’ dated and their idea of work and the workplace is likely to be very different to that of current workers. Are we in FM ready to work with this new group of workers?

Current research suggests that this new generation will relate to work – and their workspace –  in an entirely different manner. Theirs will be the ‘Gig Economy’.

In this Gig Economy model, workers will go from one ‘work performance’ to another and will aim for a more project-based approach where their personal and professional lives are more interlocked. They share information and experiences more readily, are likely to be more entrepreneurial, and upskill to enable themselves to gain the experience to move from project to project; and potentially from employer to employer.

All the while, this new model of worker will be in constant contact (via social media) with their diverse networks which will allow them to tap into upcoming jobs/projects, interests, trends and ideas. Because of this ‘Gigging’, they’re more likely to move from one workspace to another, yet still be able to work and rotate across various teams.

Virtual teams already exhibit some aspects of Gigging, especially if they work across local, regional and international borders. We already see some elements of this in our own company at ISS where our Integrated Teams pool ideas and excellence from across the business. For example, we recently held a sustainable food forum with clients, partners and suppliers to look at how we can better avoid surplus food creation.  Why? To help all of us learn better ways to win the hearts of minds of future workers and employees who will want to (and have to) live in a more sustainable way.

In my role in Food & Hospitality, I already have customers who are likely to share a picture and comment about their meal before it hits the table! So to keep up with this, our people keep step, sharing pictures and descriptions across social media. It seems like a small thing, but in the bigger context, it helps us to keep in touch with our clients, our customers and our employees who create the dishes, and to make sure we’re listening to each other.

Looking ahead, we’ll need to constantly innovate and find ways to make food service and how we communicate around it smarter. Because for the next generation, what we consider smarter is likely to be the norm.

Generation Z is coming up fast and we need to be ready for this ‘swipe, don’t type’ group.

About Sarah OBeirne


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