Gen Z workers are itching to get back to the office, according to a new survey from CommercialCafe.
A year after global lockdowns drove companies to adopt widespread WFH policies almost half of employed Americans are still working at home, the firm’s most recent survey shows. And while most of those surveyed reported that their work-life balance was equal to or better than it was before, Gen Z respondents were generally less-satisfied compared to older generations.
Around 37% of Gen Z respondents said their work-life balance has deteriorated as a result of pandemic WFH policies. Contrast that with the 55% of Baby Boomers who said they haven’t experienced any change in their work-life balance at all since COVID-19 began.
Part of this likely has to do with the fact that it’s tough to build a rapport and establish trust via Zoom: “Normally, these entry-level jobs are a proving ground for new hires under the visible supervision of superiors. But, clearly, that’s not what’s happening right now,” CommercialCafe’s Patrick McGregor said in a report detailing the survey’s findings. “So, proving yourself falls exclusively to the work product. However, career progression is also about building relationships and, in some industries, it’s even more important than the work.”
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Gen Z workers are more likely to be in that critical entry-level phase of their careers where rubbing elbows with superiors really counts, whereas Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers are “likely a few more rungs up the ladder—or at the top.”
What’s more, Gen Z reported feeling the most stress from work, with 56% saying they bring stress from work home with them. Again, Baby Boomers are the foil here: 66% report they have a home life largely free of work stress, and more than half of both Millennials and Gen X say they leave work stress at work.
“Regardless of which generation you belong to, the pandemic has come with both expected and unexpected challenges—some larger than others,” McGregor says. “Millennials and Gen Xers are satisfied with their work from home situations overall, but schooling and occupying children during the workday can be another job in and of itself. Gen Zers are struggling more than other generations because they can’t get the interactions that initiate them into the office life and company culture.”