Gen Z workers most likely to return to the office full-time
Gen Z office workers are more likely to work in the office in some capacity following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions than all other older generations. This is according to a new survey from Pure Telecom, the Irish-owned high-speed broadband and telecoms provider, which found that 97% of Gen Z office workers – those aged 18 to 23 – will work from the office on a full or part-time basis.
Last week, the government announced an easing of Covid-19 restrictions, which allows for a phased return to the office. Pure Telecom’s survey of 500 office workers in Ireland, carried out by Censuswide, asked office workers about their plans when Covid-19 restrictions were eased.
The research found that the majority of Gen Z office workers plan to work from the office – that includes the 4% who never worked remotely during the pandemic and 93% who did work remotely, but who plan to return in some capacity. Overall, 86% of office workers plan to spend at least some time in the office following the easing of restrictions. That figure is the same (86%) for Millennials, 84% for Gen X and 88% for Baby Boomers.
Of the office workers who worked remotely during the pandemic, Gen Z is also the most likely generation to return to the office full-time, without any remote working. It found 23% of remote office workers will return to the office full-time following the easing of restrictions, rising to 35% for Gen Z. Just 18% of Baby Boomers who worked from home will return full-time, along with 20% of Millennials and 30% of Gen X.
The survey also looked at the counties most likely to be based in the office following the easing of restrictions. The majority (94%) of office workers who live in Wicklow say that they will work from the office in some capacity, followed by 93% in Donegal and 92% in Cork. Office workers living in Tipperary (70%), Louth (73%) and Limerick (75%) are the least likely to be office based.
“It has been a long two years and younger workers may be feeling that they are missing out on the social aspects of being in the office,” said Paul Connell, CEO, Pure Telecom. “But it is clear from our research that the future is in hybrid working and what works for one generation may not work for another.
“People have become used to a work-life balance that allows them to enjoy time with their families and friends, or take on extracurricular activities. These things are important for employees and many would find it very difficult to replace these with long, unnecessary commutes twice a day. But the learning, collaboration and social life that the office brings is important too and it is particularly valuable to younger generations who are just starting out in their careers, and who are looking to expand their social circles.
“As businesses continue to struggle to hire, they must make sure they are doing everything they can to attract and retain the best talent; many will not even consider a job that doesn’t offer flexibility anymore. It’s vital for companies to work with their employees on their individual needs and ensure that they have the policies and systems in place to make it work.
“More and more premises across the country are getting connected to high-speed broadband and the desire for hybrid working makes this even more of a necessity. Work needs to be accessible to all employees; whether they are working remotely from a rural village, or in an office building in a city.”