Citrix and Oxford Analytica, Born Digital generation study

Citrix, Coleman Parks Research and Oxford Analytica, conducted a study that finds Born Digital generation can drive an extra $1.9 trillion in corporate profits

Citrix, Coleman Parks Research and Oxford Analytica, conducted a study that combined global opinion research from 1,000 business leaders and 2,000 knowledge workers in 10 countries including the UAE to understand what the Born Digital generation want from work with economic modelling to quantify the impact they can have on business and the larger economy.

The Born Digital Effect, the latest research from Citrix Systems, reveals that the Born Digital generation made up of millennials (born 1981 to 1996) and generation Z (born after 1997) are primed to deliver an extra $1.9 trillion globally and $51 billion in the UAE in corporate profits. But they’ll need some help to pull it off.

To help them do this, Citrix, Coleman Parks Research and Oxford Analytica, conducted The Born Digital Effect, a study that combined global opinion research from 1,000 business leaders and 2,000 knowledge workers in 10 countries (including the UAE) to understand what the Born Digital want from work with economic modelling to quantify the impact they can have on business and the larger economy.

Some of the key findings from the study revealed that long-term goals and work-life balance matter most to employees. Faced with an uncertain job environment, younger workers in the UAE are most focused on fundamental work factors like long-term career prospects (92 percent) and a good work-life balance (91 percent). This is poorly understood by leaders, who think their young workers value access to the latest workplace technology and opportunities for training.

The study also revealed that 90 percent of Born Digital employees in the UAE do not want to return to full-time office work post-pandemic, preferring a remote or hybrid model instead. Half (50 percent) want to remain working from home most or all of the time while another 20 percent would like hybrid working with more time in the office and a further 21 percent would like hybrid working with time evenly split between home and the office. Only 10 percent would like to be in the office full time. While they may prefer to work remote, Born Digital workers recognise that social interaction is crucial in a business context (7 percent).

“The Born Digital generation is the C-Suite of the near future,” says Amir Sohrabi, Area VP for Emerging Markets, Citrix. “As early as 2035, the fate of businesses – and by extension, global economies – will be in their hands. This research is a wake-up call to business leaders that they may not fully understand those who have been ‘born digital’ and must take the time to do so. Successfully attracting and retaining the next generation of leaders will require organisations to invest in the flexible, efficient and engaging work environment in which they thrive.”

More than anything, the Born Digital want employers who give them flexibility and choice –Although a five-day week is still a popular working pattern, the Born Digital believe that they should be given the opportunity to work a four-day week if they choose (15 percent). They also expect to be able to decide when to begin and end their working day (26 percent), and a few want to work unstructured or output-based hours (8 percent).

Only 8 percent of business leaders in the UAE use instant messaging apps like Slack or WhatsApp for work purposes, compared to 82 percent of Born Digital employees. And only 12 percent of business leaders like using these apps for work, compared to 88 percent of Born Digital workers.

Only 31 percent of Born Digital employees would leave an organisation that lacked purpose, compared to 70 percent of business leaders. And only 30 percent of Born Digital workers would leave a role if they felt the culture did not reflect their personality adequately, compared to 57 percent of business leaders.

As the data makes clear, today’s business leaders are clearly disconnected from what the Born Digital really want from work. And in order to unlock their full potential and the value they can deliver, they need to plug in.

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