According to a new global study released this week by HR executive network/research firm Future Workplace and staffing agency Randstad US, Gen Z and Millennials both cited “communication” as the most important quality they seek in a leader, compared to “honesty” just two years ago.

Dubbed the Gen Z & Millennials Collide @ Work report, the study examines Gen Z and millennials entering the workplace for the first time. The survey was conducted by Morar Consulting across 10 global countries (US, UK, Germany, Mexico, Poland, Argentina, India, China, Canada and South Africa) this summer, polling 4,066 respondents on their workplace preferences and experiences. The study polled both Gen Z (22 years old) and Millennials (23-34 year olds).

“Despite the introduction and proliferation of new technologies at work, Millennials and Gen Z value the in-person communication that comes with a traditional corporate office much like older generations do," stated Dan Schawbel, research director at Future Workplace. "At the same time, they also seek flexible hours and telecommuting that two-thirds of companies still fail to offer. Companies that want to successfully recruit, retain and grow their young talent must look to corporate culture as their competitive advantage moving forward.”

“One of the most pervasive themes from this year’s global study is Gen Z’s propensity and desire for collaboration," said Jim Link, chief human resources officer at Randstad North America, per a statement. "Whether it is in a corporate office, at home or in a coffee shop, Gen Z workers prefer collaborative work environments. In fact, our study found that global Gen Z workers named ‘co-workers who like to collaborate’ as the type of worker who would help them do their best work, second only to co-workers who work as hard as they do. Furthermore, more than half (54 percent) of Gen Z’s said the people they work with is the top workplace attribute that enables them to do their best work. Companies seeking to be an employer of choice must leverage the collaborative revolution taking place and provide the technology, tools and processes that facilitate and encourage it.”

Additional findings from the survey include:

  • 41 percent of Generation Z says corporate offices are their preferred workplace.
  • Both groups want their employers to incorporate social media (41 percent); wearables (27 percent); and virtual reality (26 percent) into the workplace.
  • 46 percent of both generations agree social media is their biggest distraction from getting work done, with text messaging (39 percent) and email (31 percent) following.
  • Work flexibility has become more desired over healthcare for Millennials and Gen Z, yet only one-third of companies offer it (34 percent).
  • Seventy-one percent of both groups have only worked in one country thus far, but 56 percent wish to work in more than one country.
  • Both groups receive either daily (19 percent), weekly (24 percent) or “regular” (23 percent) feedback, compared to annually (3 percent). In the United States, 28 percent of Gen Z and 17 percent of Millennials receive feedback regularly.

Randstad and Future Workplace will be holding a webinar on Sept. 13 to further examine their research findings. For the full report, head to Randstad's site here.