Why Are Millennials So Afraid to Return to the Office?

If I was to time travel to 2019, it would be like I was going to another planet. The crowded bus rides of coughing suits would feel claustrophobic. The lack of hand san stations would make every Maccas feel empty. And working five days in the office again would feel super surreal.

In regard to that last point, I’m not alone in feeling this way. A lot of millennials have gotten accustomed to not being in the office every day. Moreover, many cookies in this age group feel strongly that working from home schemes should continue.

According to a survey conducted by the Automatic Data Processing (ADP) Research Institute, 54 percent of 18 to 24 year olds would consider moving jobs if their employer insisted on them returning to the workplace in a full-time capacity. What’s more, this number bumped up to 65 percent when the ADP asked some 25 to 34 year olds the exact same question. 

“Although returning to the workplace presents social and career benefits for young people, this research shows that the majority of workers of this age are opposed to a full-time return,” stated ADP’s Managing Director in Australia and New Zealand, Kylie Baullo.

“Resistance is especially strong in the slightly older 25 to 34 and 35 to 44-year-old cohorts, who are more likely to have had a taste of office work before the COVID-19 pandemic, and are better able to compare in-office and work from home arrangements.”

Baullo also said, “With this insight, these cohorts are telling us they are looking for a combination of the ability to work remotely whilst having team days and cross-functional collaboration, and development opportunities in the office.”

Related: Survey Shows We’re Probably Going to Work Flexibly Forever

Related: Post-Pandemic Work — The Three Main Trends We’re Wanting to Keep

But how does this millennial data stack up when comparing it to what older people want from their employers? Whelp, only 46 percent of ADP’s 45 to 54-year-olds would potentially get a new job if they were forced to go to their workplace every day. This number dropped down to 27 percent when they asked folks over the age of 55. 

However, this survey doesn’t account for whether or not these older people would want to actually remain at their current job. These individuals may feel like they have to stay and are worried that they now have fewer employment opportunities. 

“Businesses should consider not only where employees prefer to work, but also how they work most effectively,” noted Baullo. “Engaging and supporting people, leaders to align how work is done with where work is done.”

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