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Gen Z wants to work from home but has FOMO

A new report from Washington State University reveals that Gen Z has mixed feelings about returning to the office.

For one thing, many don’t feel ready to return after months of working from home. On the other hand, the generation feels it lacks a certain level of professional development and “access to networks”, according to Dean Chip Hunter of WSU’s Carson College of Business.

“Are they getting informal learning and mentoring? Hunter said. “The kind of things that they think could happen if they went to the office every day. Do they get less?”

For many Gen-Zers, especially those under 25, the only professional workplace they’ve known is their living room. Their meetings with managers and colleagues have been largely virtual. While this may be preferred by many, they are also aware that working from home in their pajamas isn’t always warm and fuzzy. They fear not having crucial experiences.

A total of 53% of Gen Zers surveyed for the report said they did not feel ready to return to the office. And 63% don’t think the traditional 9-to-5 office routine would work for them.

The WSU report says Gen Z’s general desire to continue working from home isn’t driven by security concerns. In fact, 73% of Gen Z respondents feel safe returning to the office. But they prefer the flexibility that working from home offers.

Gen Z wants corporate values

The study also showed that 90% of Gen Z want to work for a company that aligns with their values. These values ​​include: caring about the well-being of employees; provision of insurance for mental health care; and providing a workplace that embraces diversity.

Nearly 80% of Gen Zers are rethinking their job choice.

“Many Gen-Zers have taken remote jobs during the pandemic with an unknown future,” Hunter said. “They may have buyer’s remorse now because they didn’t know where the economy was going; ‘I thought I had to get something.'”

According to the report, Gen Z is optimistic about “the future of the business climate in the Pacific Northwest.”

As Gen Z reassesses the jobs they’ve had during the pandemic, they may be looking for other opportunities. If employers want to attract these new employees, they may need to review their values ​​and make them more transparent. They will also need to balance hybrid working with providing these experiences to retain and attract employees.

According to the WSU report:

The Big Quit has shifted the power dynamic of employment in favor of employees, and Gen Z is placing more emphasis on corporate values ​​and well-being. Gen Z (92%) said it was crucial to work for a company that cares about employee well-being, and 82% said diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) was a must At work.

Gen Z employees also prioritize mental health over flexible work options: 70% only want to work for a company that has clear mental health offerings, and 69% agree that seminars on well-being have a positive impact on morale (up 18 pp compared to 2021) .

Additionally, 79% said they only wanted to work for a company whose values ​​align with their own, an increase of 9 percentage points from 2021.

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