Digital Native vs Business Leaders: The Clash of Cultures

Digital Natives, the employees belonging to the generation we know as Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) and Generation Z (born after 1997), are the first to have grown up in an entirely digital world. Today these digital natives number 2.4 billion globally and represent 32% of the world population and 15.1% in the UAE. In the world of work, this young generation questions its modes of operation and its aspirations. Citrix conducted a study entitled The Born Digital Effect, the results of which show some discrepancies. Business leaders are disconnected from the deep aspirations of digital natives, even though the businesses will bring in additional profit from these young workers.


A generation misunderstood …

Since childhood, these young employees, who have been immersed in new technologies, have a different vision of the world of work than the previous generations. Faced with an uncertain work environment exacerbated by the pandemic, they focus on various aspects of office life above all – such as stability and security and an excellent work-life balance.

… in the face of new labour standards

While leaders believe that this generation values access to the latest technologies in the workplace and training opportunities. They also overestimate the attractiveness of the office. Case in point: 58% of executives worldwide (and 73% in the UAE) think that young workers will want to spend most or all of their time working in the office, while 90% of digital natives do not want to return to the office full-time after the pandemic, preferring a hybrid model. Because, even if they choose to work remotely, workers of this generation recognize that social interaction is crucial in a professional context (68% worldwide and 77% in UAE).

In 2020, digital natives already accounted for the majority of the world’s workforce. Little by little, they continue to climb the corporate ladder and are destined to play a critical role in the future, especially in the post-pandemic recovery. Therefore, it is necessary to create an environment where they can flourish and contribute to the company’s future.

The report estimates that the digital natives would generate $1,900 billion in additional profits for companies. Therefore, leaders and managers should be focusing more on how to go about attracting and in the future retaining talent.