Gen Z Wants to go Back to the Office


How often do you hear about Gen Z thriving in a remote environment?

These workers grew up in the digital space. They are naturally tech-savvy and enjoy setting their own hours. Wouldn’t that mean remote work is perfect for them? Not quite.

In fact, out of all the workplace generations (Baby Boomer, Gen X, or Millennials), Gen Z is the most eager to return to the office. This includes all workers born between the years 1997 and 2012.

As recent college graduates and entry-level jobholders, Gen Z is eager to experience what it’s like working in an office.

Gen Z is more willing than other generations to get back to the traditional work environment. In fact, 40% of college students and recent graduates said they prefer in-person work.

They are seeking an office culture and direct feedback from managers. And some of these Gen Z workers don’t want to miss out on office amenities like free snacks or company fitness centers.

Gen Z Needs More Space to Work

Not having enough room to work is the primary reason Gen Z wants back in the office. Many of these young workers are fresh out of college and living with their parents or in a small apartment with roommates.

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They struggle with not having enough space to work, maintaining a work-life balance, staying distraction-free, and not having the adequate supplies to do their jobs effectively.

One study from Microsoft found that 42% of employees don’t have essential office supplies at home. Furthermore, 46% said their employers don’t help with remote work expenses. More than half of Generation Z workers also said they felt unproductive and unmotivated working from home. As a result, they feel bored, struggle to sleep, and can’t focus for long periods of time.

Only 13% of Gen Z remote workers experienced no challenges with remote work and said they loved it.

Concerns Over Receiving Promotions

Gen Z employees expect higher salaries and regular promotions. They believe returning to the office will help achieve this goal. One study found that 75% of Gen Z workers want a promotion for their first job within one year.

Besides returning to the office as soon as possible, many Gen Z workers said they are willing to work harder and longer to achieve their higher salary goals.

Not only do they want to feel secure from layoffs (after watching family members lose their jobs in 2008 and 2020) but they also seek opportunities to learn new skills that will enhance their career ambitions.

What Does This Mean for Employers Going Forward?

Gen Z will eventually account for a quarter of the workforce. HR professionals should strive to understand what specific challenges this generation is facing and understand that they can’t be treated the same as Millennial workers. Although only a decade separates them, both generations have different workplace preferences and values.

eBook: The Young and the Restless: Digital Natives Want to Go Back to the Office

Photo Courtesy of Stock Photo Secrets 

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