Since the hybrid work model is here to stay, it’s critical to understand how employees of different ages experience hybrid work. Gen Z has been making a major impact in the workplace—helping shape the future of hybrid work. Younger workers value hybrid opportunities for different reasons than previous generations, and they have different desires and expectations for the modern workplace.
These younger workers desire truly hybrid work—a balanced mix of time in the office and time working remotely. Despite being a generation “born with a phone in their hands,” Gen Z doesn’t necessarily want or enjoy entirely remote work. In fact, they express appreciation for in-person interaction and other opportunities in the office. Around the country, young workers favor working in the office.
If this seems counterintuitive, consider how the loss of in-person work and socialization affected young people during the pandemic. Public shutdowns impacted Gen Z in a formative period of their lives—they lost vital time in high school, college, or their early careers. Now, Gen Z is trying to make up for that lost time with a new mindset.
Gen Z has faced some unique challenges. They’ve missed a couple years of in-person social development, which impacted their social business skills and ability to follow traditional corporate etiquette. Many young people recognize this gap and see in-office work as a way to close it. They want to be in the office to develop the necessary behaviors, skills, and connections for success in the modern workplace.
Gen Z does have some advantages in the workplace. Younger employees effectively use digital tools and applications for work—they’ve grown up with technology integrated into their daily lives at school and at home. They effectively communicate and collaborate online.
While corporate hybrid policies are still in flux, Gen Z has an opportunity to advocate for their needs in organizational decision making. Many have expressed a desire for a hybrid work system. Like other generations, Gen Z appreciates flexible scheduling: They want to work from home so they have more time without a commute and a better work-life balance. But young employees understand that many work experiences can’t be replicated virtually—particularly once they set foot into an office for the first time.
Work from Anywhere
Work happens within an ecosystem of three physical locations: office, home, and third places. Find out how the role of the office has changed to become the epicenter of work— with a variety of flexible spaces and technology that support collaboration, connection, culture, and well-being to empower a hybrid workforce.
Many older workers prefer remote work opportunities relative to Gen Z for a variety of reasons. Those with more experience may already have more wealth, vacation time, and important connections, for example. Since Gen Z largely lacks those advantages, they seek in-office work to catch up on some of the things they’ve missed and set themselves up for a brighter future.
Gen Z can push to change how people work during this time of uncertainty around corporate hybrid policies. By recognizing Gen Z’s potential and adapting to their unique circumstances, organizations can attract and retain the best young employees. They will likely need some additional guidance, but this shouldn’t deter companies from supporting them. If businesses build up the next generation, hybrid work will be effective and efficient for Gen Z—and other generations, as well.