Working from home or in the office? Why younger workers might prefer the office

·2-min read
PwC's research suggests that least experienced workers need the office the most.

Between working from home and working in the office, for younger workers, it seems that the office wins. According to several studies, the youngest members of the workforce appear to be less disposed to working from home for reasons of productivity and workplace culture. Their more experienced colleagues, on the other hand, opt for remote working.

With home working a new norm for many for the best part of a year, and more hybrid models emerging for sharing time between office and home , when it comes to where the job gets done, preferences and needs are starting to emerge in line with workers' age categories.

A greater number of junior workers, for example, seem to be more in favor of working in the office. According to a study carried out by the audit firm PwC in January 2021 in the US, the least experienced workers were more likely to want to be in the office more often. In this category, 30% of workers with less than five years' professional experience preferred working remotely no more than one day a week, compared to 20% of all respondents.

One reason for this is productivity. These less experienced workers were more likely to feel less productive while working remotely (34% vs. 23%).

Remote working for these younger workers means having less contact with colleagues and managers, which could be destabilizing, particularly because in their first professional roles, young workers are keen to experience office life and to get onboard with company culture. That can be difficult to achieve when working remotely 100% of the time.

In France, disparities have been seen between generations close in age -- Millennials and Gen Z. According to a study conducted by Chaire Workplace Management of ESSEC Business School, 79% of Millennials were keen to carry on home working after covid-19, compared to 68% for Gen Z. The figures are certainly close, but they could reflect a desire among younger workers to get back to the office.