The younger generation of workers is bringing new language into the office and confusing other generations of co-workers.
- Gen Z is the generation born between 1997 and 2012—people under 25—and is known as the chronically online generation.
- The average Gen Zer spends around eight hours online each day, according to Thrive Statistics.
- The generation has picked up many online sayings and are bringing them into the workplace, causing a language barrier and confusing older colleagues.
Words younger workers are infusing into the office are, according to Business Insider:
- Ick – something gross or unpleasant
- Naur – No
- Slay – Good job or something good
- Understood the assignment – Done perfectly
- Say less – Understood or say no more
- Unserious – Ridiculous or can’t be taken seriously
Why it’s news
Gen Z—those born between 1997 and 2012—was raised during the time of technological advancement and has never lived without the internet as part of daily life.
The group is known as the chronically online generation due to the fact they spend most of their time online or using some form of technology.
Teenage slang or lingo has been around for quite some time, but the thing with Gen Z is they aren’t afraid to bring their online lingo to the workplace. Gen Z workers on the older side understand that there is a time and place to use slang, and the workplace isn’t it, but others are unafraid to speak their minds even at work.
The new language has created a language barrier between the younger and older workers as the ones who aren’t online as often do not understand the online slag Gen Z is bringing to work.
Some think it is good for older colleagues to learn the lingo to better understand the younger generation, while others believe there is a time and a place for slang words that should not be used at work, says corporate coach Tim Byrnes.
“Language no doubt evolves, but it’s also important to speak in a way the most people can understand what you are saying,” says Byrnes. “It almost seems patronizing to be using slang now that other people are not in the know.”
“Older colleagues can benefit from being more adaptable and relatable to their younger coworkers, so they know how to appeal to a younger consumer base,” says assistant human resources manager for Hyatt Regency Houston Kevon Martin. “However, Gen Z must also recognize you can’t come to work and use whatever slang words you’d use with each other because it’s not the same environment.”