Over the past two-plus years during the COVID-19 pandemic, more people began to work from home and many pursued full-time remote jobs to make life easier during challenging times.
Surprisingly, younger people are now less interested in working from home. The Survey of Working Arrangements and Attitudes found that only 24% of people ages 20-29 are searching for full-time remote work in their monthly survey for July.
Additionally, a LinkedIn research study among 4,000 people in Gen Z (ages 18-25) from the United Kingdom, United States, France, and Germany found that 70% want some type of access to an office, whether it be a hybrid work schedule or full-time in-person compared to fully remote work.
The study said that "20-24 year olds are the age group making the fewest applications to fully remote roles." Only 35.5% of people 20-24 are applying to remote positions in the U.S., while nearly half (48.8%) of people 35 and older are applying to work from home jobs.
July results from the Survey of Working Arrangements and Attitudes also showed that 29% of people 30-39 want full-time remote work in comparison to the younger generation. 33.2% of 40 to 49-year-olds agreed, as did 40.9% of 50 to 64-year-olds.
"Gen Z wants to work together in person," Joe Du Bey, the CEO of Eden, a provider of workplace-management software, told Business Insider. "When we talk to our customers, they're telling us the same thing: It's their 20-somethings that are pushing them very hard to get back into the office."
30% of Gen Z respondents in the LinkedIn survey said they prefer to work in an office because it offers a separation of work and home. 24% said they rather work in the office because it's a better environment to be more productive on the job.
It's tough to get human interaction while working from home, and therefore can be a challenge for some to make new friends and relationships. 23% of Gen Z respondents said that working in an office gives them the chance to build closer relationships with coworkers.
Not being in the office can also affect their professional development, as 21% said it's important for them to get proper in-person training and mentorship from coworkers that comes with working at an office setting.
More than 40% of college students said they are "worried about fewer networking opportunities and less mentorship," according to a Generation Lab survey, per Insider. Nearly three-quarters of the respondents said their biggest concern about full-time remote work was the lack of community compared to work at an office.
"The last two years have been an incredibly challenging time to start a career. Gen Z will soon make up 30% of the global workforce and employers must keep their newest recruits front of mind and create working environments where they can thrive," Allen Blue, Co-founder and Vice President, Product Management, at LinkedIn, said.
"It's clear that Gen Z want flexibility but LinkedIn’s data shows that doesn’t necessarily mean that they want to be fully remote. Offering flexibility isn’t just critical in terms of attracting and retaining Gen Z talent, but it also represents a huge opportunity to make workplaces fairer, more inclusive and equitable. That means recognizing the realities of people’s personal situations, including that they may not have an ideal set-up to work from home full-time."
People 20 to 29-years-old desire an average of 2.57 days per week to work from home, adding to the major draw of hybrid schedules. The desired days per week to work remotely increased with age, just like the preference for fully remote work. 30 to 39-year-olds hoped for 2.86 work from home days per week, people 40-49 wished for 2.95 days from home per week, and 50 to 64-year-olds wanted 3.01 days per week to work remotely.