Returning to the office is pushing Gen Z to quit, says ADP Research Institute

  • Employers who want to see their offices filled again could see some workers quit.
  • Sixty-four percent of workers globally said they would consider a new job if they were to return full-time.
  • Young workers are particularly likely to quit rather than return to the office, according to a survey by the ADP Research Institute.

Companies that require workers to return to the office every day might actually see their workers join the Great Resignation instead. It can be especially difficult to get Gen Z workers to work in person all the time.

This is based on the results of a survey by the ADP Research Institute. The new report, “People at Work 2022: A Global Workforce View,” included results from a November 2021 survey of more than 32,000 workers in 17 countries. The countries studied include the United States, India and the Netherlands.

According to the survey, 71% of 18-24 year olds said that “if my employer insisted that I return to my workplace full-time, I would consider looking for another job”. This is a higher rate than among older workers. Overall, ADP Research Institute found that 64% of the workforce said this.

“I think for them, for this segment of workers, the move from the workplace to the home was probably quite natural,” Nela Richardson, chief economist at ADP and co-author of the report, told Insider about young people. workers. “It probably felt like an extension of their social life in some sense, because they hadn’t been cemented by the workplace yet. And so the challenges of returning to work are more daunting.”

“These are young workers who have never really gotten their foot in the door and honestly don’t know what they are missing in terms of a workplace,” Richardson added.

They may miss out on building relationships with co-workers or the social element of working in an office, as well as learning by simply observing co-workers. But some Gen Zers don’t mind being out of the office.

Additionally, Richardson said 71% could also be due to the fact that “overall we see workers placing more value and priority on time.”

These young workers may have joined the workforce during the pandemic, where remote work has become more common. They may have gotten used to seeing their colleagues through screens and not having to get up early to sit at a desk.

It’s not just Gen Z who can throw in the towel and apply for a new job if they have to commute to the workplace daily.

Take parents, for example. The flexibility of remote or hybrid working can be beneficial for caring for their children between meetings or for not having to go to the office and take care of their children when they are sick.

Whether it’s Gen Z or a parent, companies that want workers back can experience turnover. A person who quit after refusing to return to office failed to explain to Insider why she left.

“I didn’t want to be at a company where leaders were so unwilling to listen to their employees and where controlling was more important than keeping your employees happy,” she told Insider.

Greater flexibility in work hours and work locations could be a way to attract and retain workers who are reluctant to return to the office full-time.

“If you look at the survey, it’s not necessarily that people just want to work from home, it’s that they want more flexibility in their working day,” Richardson said.

“We saw the blurring of lines between work and home,” Richardson said. “And that’s probably something that persists that people don’t just forget about their lives when they go to work. And so accommodating that more for younger workers is probably the future of work that should be addressed.”

Some people who don’t want to commute to work all the time may even consider a pay cut, the report said.

“If this were to happen, employees are willing to compromise if it meant more flexibility or a hybrid approach to the workplace with more than half (52%) willing to take a pay cut – up to 11% — to secure this arrangement,” said a press release about the new report.

Although companies want their employees to return to the office full-time, people seem to be doing well remotely. According to the survey, 64% of people working from home say they discuss career development with their employer compared to 43% of those working on site. Two-thirds of remote workers also said their contributions were recognized, compared to just over half of those working on-site.

“It’s great that remote workers feel well paid and compensated, and have good career progression, but what we don’t want to do is lose the people who have to go to the office” , Richardson said. , adding that remote jobs “tend to be more knowledge jobs.”

“And for this dichotomy between people who have to come to the office and those who don’t, I think companies should be aware and make sure they offer the same employee experience and career progression. to their on-site employees that they are their remote workers to keep those workers engaged and retained.”

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