Don’t Buy the Stereotypes: Gen Z Understand the Value of the Office


Jane HolmesHead of Marketing and Communications at Cloudbooking

Friday, March 31, 2023

While remote work offers many benefits, many members of Gen Z still want to work in the office. For this generation, the office offers opportunities only accessible through face-to-face interactions in a shared physical workspace.

Article 3 Minutes
Don’t Buy the Stereotypes: Gen Z Understand the Value of the Office

The sudden and massive shift to remote work has been one of the defining trends of the pandemic and post-pandemic years, but not all workers are equally excited about the prospect of working from home. In particular, many members of Generation Z — those born between the mid-1990s and mid-2000s — are expressing a desire to work in the office.

According to The Future of Work: 8 Trends in Workplace Transformation report by Cloudbooking, only 11% of Gen Z workers selected full-time working from home when asked to identify their best or most ideal working environment. This was the lowest among the five age groups in the study.

But why is this the case?

Gen Z want social connections in the office

One reason is that many members of Gen Z are looking for social connection and a sense of community in the workplace. For instance, a 2020 PwC survey of 1,200 workers in the US found that a third of employees with fewer than five years of work experience were “more likely to feel less productive while working remotely.” They also want to be in the office more often, preferring to be remote no more than once a week.

For a generation that has grown up with social media and instant messaging, the idea of being physically isolated from colleagues can be unappealing. In other words, working in the office provides an opportunity to build relationships with co-workers, collaborate on projects and have face-to-face conversations.

Gen Z want the traditional mentorship experience

Another reason why Gen Zers may prefer to work in the office is that they value mentorship and career development opportunities. A poll of college students and recent graduates by Generation Lab found that 74% of respondents said they’re concerned about losing a sense of community in remote work setups, while 41% pointed to a lack of mentorship opportunities.

In the office, they have the chance to learn from more experienced colleagues, seek guidance and feedback, and build their skills and knowledge. In a remote work environment, these opportunities can be more limited, as there may be less interaction between team members.

The office supports work-life balance

For Gen Z, working in the office can also support a better work-life balance. While remote work can offer more flexibility in terms of where and when work is done, it can also blur the boundaries between work and personal life. By spending time in the office, Gen Z employees can establish clear lines between work and home, which can help them manage their time and avoid burnout.

The office creates a sense of community

In addition, many members of Gen Z may feel that working in the office offers a better chance to make an impact and contribute to the company's success. In the office, they can see the results of their work more directly, get immediate feedback and feel a sense of accomplishment. Remote work, on the other hand, can sometimes feel disconnected from the larger goals of the company.

With the oldest Gen Z-ers having experienced only a few years of “normal'' work before the pandemic hit, many younger workers only have remote work as their frame of reference in the workplace. This has led to concerns about a dwindling sense of community and a perceived lack of career development opportunities.

The office isn’t going away anytime soon

While remote work has many benefits, it isn’t the right fit for everyone, and many members of Gen Z are expressing a desire to work in the office. For this generation, the office offers opportunities for social connection, mentorship and career development, work-life balance, a chance to make an impact, and a space for creativity and inspiration. Companies looking to attract and retain Gen Z talent should take these factors into account and consider offering a mix of remote and in-office work options that cater to the unique preferences and needs of this generation.

Jane Holmes

Head of Marketing and Communications at Cloudbooking

Jane is the Head of Marketing and Communications at Cloudbooking, a workplace management software provider helping companies build human-centric, hybrid workplaces that improves employee experience and workplace utilization.


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