• But only 51% of Gen Zers consciously make an effort to speak to different generations
  • Almost 8 in 10 professionals of all ages in the UAE and KSA believe they can learn a lot from other generations
  • More than half of Gen Z professionals say that corporate jargon is incomprehensible and makes them feel isolated
  • Gen Z are increasingly turning to LinkedIn’s supportive community for guidance and advice

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: New research from LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, reveals a gap between Gen Z and their older colleagues at work, and career echo chambers could be to blame. The research also shows however that Gen Z are aware of the value of this missed opportunity, as three quarters  in the UAE and KSA point to better communication as a means to improve workplace productivity, learning opportunities and team morale.

Often labeled as ‘difficult’ or resistant to authority, surprisingly, 76% of Gen Z respondents said that they are eager to learn from other generations in the workplace. However, just half of them consciously make an effort to speak to other generations.

Poised to make up more than a quarter of the global workforce by 2025, Gen Z feels uncomfortable in approaching other generations for assistance and support. Over 1 in 3 say they are worried about looking foolish and 34% avoid interacting with older generations as “they always seem to know more” than they do.

Gen Z are most likely to say that they don’t understand corporate jargon and find it isolating (51%) in stark contrast to other generations. This may be why the majority of them (73%) want companies to do more to encourage and foster intergenerational workforces.

This career echo chamber may be exacerbating the skills gaps and feeding outdated intergenerational perceptions, leaving Gen Z to be at risk of suffering the most.

A particular challenge for Gen Z

Well-documented advocates for work-life balance and financially driven, Gen Z are often criticized for their apparent unrealistic expectations of work. However, the research from LinkedIn suggests that these views are unfounded and stem from a lack of communication among workforce generations.

Similar to other generations, professional development is top of mind for Gen Z as 74% of them in the UAE and KSA put a stable and secure career as their biggest priority in professional life. Asked about the priorities when evaluating a company's culture and values, almost half (46%) say opportunities for growth and learning top the list.

Young professionals recognise the importance of networking to build their careers, but as a generation who entered the workforce amongst hybrid and remote workplace arrangements, they are missing out on informal observations and vital cues that traditionally guide behaviour, collaboration and networking.

In fact, more than two-thirds (72%) of all professionals in the UAE and KSA recognize that workers who started their careers during the pandemic need additional support with developing soft skills, such as communication, leadership and empathy.

LinkedIn Career Expert, Najat Abdelhadi says “The world of work is undergoing change at an unprecedented rate, with the skills needed for the same job expected to change by 65% by 2030. This is the time to build a resilient workforce that is well-connected and generationally diverse. 

Multigenerational workforces provide access to diverse perspectives, knowledge, and insights that can help young professionals in particular make sense of the world of work and gain confidence. And as our region continues to brim with opportunities for young professionals and career starters, Gen Z are increasingly turning to LinkedIn’s supportive community for guidance and advice

To help young professionals break free from their communication barriers, Najat has the below tips: 

  • Seek opportunities to communicate with other generations: Leave your preconceptions at the door and encourage yourself to engage with other generations in the workplace. Actively listening to colleagues outside of your cohort can help avoid assumptions about different generations and their attitudes to work, build trust and rapport and allow you to learn from each others' experience. There are plenty of free resources available to help, including Communication Foundations from LinkedIn Learning.
  • Find a mentor: Consider asking your manager for a mentor from an older generation. A good mentor can further your professional growth by helping you develop specific skills, set career goals, and connect you to people and opportunities. Mentoring can help bridge generational differences in the workplace and help generations who are decades apart better understand each other. More experienced professionals should also consider reverse mentoring to connect with younger generations. Take a look at Reverse Mentorship Essentials for helpful tips.
  • Lean into your online professional network for support: Tap into your LinkedIn community for career know-how and advice on growing your career by building connections and following people you want to learn from. You can also take advantage of LinkedIn’s Collaborative Articles to tap into expert voices and diverse perspectives on a wide range of professional topics and make work, make sense. 

The research comes as part of LinkedIn’s ongoing efforts to show how its supportive community of 1 billion members can help young professionals make sense of the world of work through:

  • New ways to make networking easier and smarter. A new ‘Catch Up’ tab focuses on surfacing opportunities for professionals to spark conversations and engagement with their network.
  • Free LinkedIn Learning courses such as Teamwork Essentials and Communication Foundations, as well as a complete learning path on soft skills.
  • Follow the latest Gen-Z Top Voices, leading the conversation on the future of work on LinkedIn.



Research conducted by Censuswide and based on 1,021 respondents from all groups 18+, as well as 1,001 respondents from Gen Z in the UAE and KSA between 08.03.24 -18.03.24. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

About LinkedIn

LinkedIn connects the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful and transforms the way companies hire, learn, market, and sell. Our vision is to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce through the ongoing development of the world’s first Economic Graph. LinkedIn has more than  1bn members and has offices around the globe. www.linkedin.com / mobile.linkedin.com