Gen Z has been subject to various monikers, but ‘digital natives’ is perhaps most true and resonant. This generation was literally born into a world where landmark technological developments were taking place: the launch of the first iPhone, Wi-Fi, and social media. Technology is second nature to them; it’s one of the first languages they learned to speak. Growing up alongside the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), they are interconnected more than ever, and championing it and expanding it further in a way that radically redefines how the world operates.

With their work

Remote work is on the rise – it has been for quite some time, but even more so now given the current global situation. The desire for a work-life balance runs deep and has resulted in these unconventional yet flexible work dynamics. Remote work is a solution for this, and employers are spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing what digital tools can accommodate this. A number of cloud-based communications platforms across IoT devices sync tasks, make accountability more transparent, and open lines of real-time communication which make the digital workplace as seamless as a traditional office environment. Face-to-face virtual contact is still a must for them, and because of interconnectivity, this is not a problem.

With their lifestyles

While most Gen Zers have yet to become homeowners, 43% of them have already remarked that smart homes are an important consideration. We can already see the adoption of similar technologies among Gen Z homeowners and renters with the preference for voice-activated technologies like smart speakers and assistants. From managing tasks to setting reminders, the adoption of these IoT devices is already one step closer towards smart home security systems and thermostats. The ability to integrate their lives even further is an exciting prospect for Gen Z as they take on more adult responsibilities.

With their vehicles

This is the generation where autonomous vehicles will proliferate due to mobility culture. Gen Z will drive this forward, with 60% of those surveyed claiming that they will use self-driving vehicles by 2029. Manufacturers and designers are constantly scrambling to improve their creations, be it through horsepower, fuel power, or even fine-tuning the printed circuit boards (PCBs) that these modern vehicles will run on. The latter is perhaps one of the most essential components to ensure the control and safety of an autonomous vehicle, as metal core PCBs are used to secure the anti-lock brake systems. This is because they have a greater ability to withstand high temperatures and shocks. The structural integrity of this innovation is a necessary component to establish the widespread use of these vehicles. And if they become popular then Gen Z will ensure they are used.

With their consumer behavior

Gen Z desires a technology-driven shopping experience. The preference for online shopping, especially with apps and mobile-optimized sites is largely due to expedited check-out options. This means that brands must also integrate this into their brick-and-mortar stores, with better point-of-sale infrastructure that makes mobile payments and electronic loyalty programs possible. Gen Z’s brazenness accounts for the fact that they are unafraid to express their opinions online, good or bad, so companies need to have all their bases covered when it comes to enhancing a digitally optimized brand experience.

These are but a few pieces of evidence that illustrate how Gen Z is at the helm of the IoT. As they continue to mature and become at the forefront of the workforce across all industries, we can expect that products, operations, and services will be designed according to their rules.