The Pandemic Has Impacted All Generations, Especially Gen Z

woman and daughter in front of laptop and glass of milk with cbt news logo on top left

I shared with Jim Fitzpatrick of CBT News About All Things Gen Z and Generational Change

  • In the workforce, CGK’s research shows Gen Z is most impacted by the pandemic
  • Half of Americans now work remotely, though many are not fully comfortable with it
  • In the face of the coronavirus, Gen Z shows their money-consciousness
  • For employers to lead effectively, communication is a must-have tool


I recently sat down with Jim Fitzpatrick via Zoom to discuss several key subjects affecting Gen Z and generational change. Speaking about the state of the workforce, how students are coping with the pandemic, and more, I shared CGK’s latest findings from the field.

With CGK’s CEO Denise Villa, Ph.D., we go into detail on all these subjects and much more in our upcoming book, Zconomy, How Gen Z Will Change the Future of Business—and What to Do About It. It is essential reading for all leaders who are working to connect with the newest generation entering the workforce and that are becoming more important consumers and trend drivers.

In the Workforce, CGK’s Research Shows that Gen Z is Most Impacted by the Pandemic

While almost no one has avoided at least some hardship brought on by COVID-19, CGK’s national research has shown that by far, Gen Z has affected most economically. As I shared with CBT News, “We found that when it comes to, for example, work, the generation most negatively affected, meaning their most lost hours, lost their job, on and on and on, are all Gen Z. That is important because there is a perception out there that it is actually older generations, and that is not true.” In fact, 25% of Gen Z believe that they will be much worse off even after the pandemic is over.

Conversely, the generation doing the best in this new paradigm, based on CGK’s latest national research, is Gen X. As I continued, “They were the one [generation] that tend to be doing what they were doing before.” 

Remote Work is Work in and of Itself

According to our latest national findings, just under 50% of employees in the U.S. are working remotely. We have heard and seen many stories of children making appearances at virtual board meetings and pets making noise in the background. However, not everyone is so excited about this set-up.

As I noted in the interview, “We have found that nationally, the majority of Americans, 52%, across generations, do not want to work from home when the pandemic is over, that’s part-time or full-time…a lot of people still want to go into a physical place. Now, it may look a lot different, but they want to do it.”

Gen Z, More Cost-Conscious Than Ever

We have now been studying Gen Z, aka Generation Z and iGen, for many years. From the beginning, we saw Gen Z was much more frugal with money. As I shared with Jim from CBT News, “They witnessed the Great Recession. Now remember they did not go through [it] as adults, they were kids, yet they were old enough to see their parents struggle.”

Having witnessed those times, the extraordinary world-wide event of today only adds to Gen Z’s earlier life lesson. They will most likely look to find ways to save, potentially making them more successful in the future. We believe they may even leapfrog some Millennials!

Even in their early 20s, Gen Z are saving money earlier in their lives than previous generations, making sound investments, and looking for good benefits from potential employers.

Non-negotiable: Connecting and Communication During This Crisis

While you may think it’s most important for employers to show strength and resiliency in these hard times, CGK’s national research found a different story. As I shared in the interview, “In fact, what [employees] wanted most was honesty and candor. They wanted someone to be well prepared and well informed.”

When it came to wanting empathy from their managers and employers, the cohort that wanted that attribute least was Millennials! The group that many assume wants to be coddled really just wants their managers to provide timely and trustworthy information.

How to Connect with Gen Z and Each Generation Now

There are myriad challenges during this unique time. Executives, entrepreneurs, leaders, marketers, and sales professionals must ensure that their organizations can engage Gen Z and each generation now and emerge from this time stronger. This has never been more essential for all employers and marketers as well as for Gen Z going forward.

At CGK, we are hard at work researching how Gen Z and how all generations are thinking about spending, work, brands, family, the economy, education, and much more throughout the pandemic. Our team is providing these insights to you with strategic advisory sessions, webinars, and virtual keynote presentations to help leaders at all levels be accurately informed with missing data and solutions to drive results at this incredibly important time.

Contact our friendly team here to learn how our custom research and generational strategies can help your team and organization lead and solve challenges through this time of uncertainty.

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