Gen Z lack workplace skills like debating and seeing different points of view because they spend too much time on social media, TV boss says

London financial district
People walk through the Canary Wharf financial district of London, BritainSimon Dawson/Reuters
  • Channel 4 boss Alex Mahon blames social media for Gen Z's lack of communication skills at work.

  • Mahon pointed out that young workers don't have the "skills to debate things" or even to "disagree."

  • Channel 4 research found that 45% of young people's total video viewing a day comes from short form content.

Gen Z workers are constantly getting flak for their quirks in the workplace, and now the boss of a major British TV channel says their oft-cited lack of communication skills is because of their social media use, according to various reports including from The Telegraph, the Daily Mail, and the Independent.

Alex Mahon, the CEO of British network Channel 4, blamed social media for Gen Z's shortcomings in the workplace at a conference with the Royal Television Society in Cambridge.

"‌What we are seeing with young people who come into the workplace, Gen Z, particularly post-pandemic and with this concentration of short-form content, is that they haven't got the skills to debate things," Mahon said referring to social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram and YouTube that often feeds users content they already agree with propelling them into echo chambers.

Mahon added: "They haven't got the skills to discuss, they haven't got the skills to disagree and commit because they haven't been raised, particularly with being out of colleges to have those kind of debates, to get to the point where you've got people with a difference of opinion to you and you're happy to work alongside that, and that is a really dangerous step change in my view that we are seeing."

Research commissioned by Channel 4 found that people across the UK watch over five hours of video content a day on average, with short form video content being preferred over live television.

Short form content made up 25% of total video for older people and rose to 45% for younger demographics between the ages of 16 and 34.

The research found that people associated viewing short form video content with the feeling of being out of control.

"‌When the algorithm is in charge, people say they feel emotionally out of control — the immediate dopamine hit fades rapidly and they are left feeling empty," Mahon said at the conference.

There are rising concerns about Gen Z's ability to adapt to the workplace and some companies are going the extra mile to make sure they do. Big Four firms like KPMG, PWC, and Deloitte have been offering communication classes to pandemic graduates to teach them about office etiquette, working in a team, giving presentations, and even what to wear at work.

These concerns were largely aggravated by the pandemic because young people were forced to study and work remotely using virtual communication tools, which hindered their ability to develop authentic in-person communication skills.

Read the original article on Business Insider