25 Jun 2021
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More Boomers than Zoomers want to work from home

By Shannon Williams

Gen Xers and Baby Boomers are pushing for more flexible working environments, rather than the tech savvy Gen Z, according to new global research from Accenture.

Accenture's survey of over 9000 workers across the world found 90% of the global workforce was working on-site prior to the pandemic. The survey found 83% of people identified a hybrid working model where employees could work outside the office for at least a quarter of the time - as being optimal in the future. 

Seventy four precent of Gen Z want more opportunities to work in face-to-face settings with colleagues, compared to just 66% of Gen Xers and 68% of Baby Boomers.

"Hybrid working where employees can work remotely or in the office had been a growing trend before Covid-19," says be Morgan, managing director of Accenture New Zealand.

"When [countries] went into lockdown, thousands more workers had to find a way to work remotely and retain productivity," he says.

"Businesses were forced to increase their remote working capabilities by moving their operations to the cloud and implementing flexible working arrangements for their people," Morgan says. 

"Now with [restrictions lifting] and the vaccine rollout underway, employees are pushing for businesses to utilise their tech investments and adopt hybrid working."

The Accenture research revealed that hybrid working is better for employee health.

"Our research found that those people who work in a range of locations such as from the office and from home have fewer cases of burnout than employees who work solely from home or solely at the office," says Morgan.

"The question for business leaders is now less of where should employees work from, and more a question of how can we increase staff morale and productivity? For many workers, part of the answer is hybrid working," he says.

Morgan says that the push for more remote working arrangements by employees stems from our experience with lockdown and greater appreciation of getting better work-life balance.

"While hybrid working models can be beneficial for workers wellbeing, workplaces will need to make sure they create the space for more senior colleagues to impart knowledge to those entering the workforce," he says.

"It is little surprise that 74% of Gen Zs want there to be more opportunity in the workplace to collaborate with their colleagues face-to-face. Despite being digital natives, they know that a lot of knowledge is passed on in the workplace via in-person interactions and informal training," Morgan adds.

"While businesses should look to hybrid working as a way to enhance employee productivity and wellbeing, they will also need to balance that with employee cohesion and upskilling from senior employees."

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