The COVID-19 pandemic brought a shift in how people work. Remote work is now a necessity instead of a luxury. When companies and employees adjusted to fit what was happening worldwide, it became clear remote work was more productive than expected. However, the question remains whether the younger generations will continue embracing remote work options.
Gen Z and Remote Work
The short answer to this question is younger generations will embrace remote work. They’ve grown up around technology and are used to connecting with people, shopping and using it for entertainment. When remote work became a necessity, younger generations could adapt quicker, whether for work or school. Computers and other technology were already helping them daily, so it wasn’t a significant shift.
Another thing about the younger generation is they prioritize work-life balance and flexibility compared to other generations. Remote work offers both, allowing them to work from anywhere, which helps with flexible work hours, stress reduction and improved quality of life.
Many people are more productive when they work in an at-home environment. There is an increase in performance since they have a quieter and more convenient work environment. Employees will also take fewer breaks since they’re already in a calm environment and fewer sick days since they can do work from home without worrying about spreading germs. They don’t have to worry about a commute, so they can sleep longer and have less stress. Sleep is essential to productivity, so being well-rested will help team members work better.
During the pandemic, many states provided guidance on treating the income employees earn while working remotely. Although some issues arose in some areas, it set the tone for what was expected from companies doing remote work.
Prioritizing Company Values and Culture
Younger generations will be more likely to prioritize company culture and values. Remote work allows businesses to hire people from anywhere worldwide, allowing more room for a diverse, inclusive workplace. Younger generations find this especially important since they value diversity and inclusion. Another perk is it will enable a more comfortable dress code, creating a casual work environment.
A plus for organizations is remote work decreases costs. Without needing a physical office, they save on rent, utilities and other expenses that come with an office space.
There is also an increase in performance since 30% of people in a survey said they are more engaged while working at home. More can get done since it allows for a global workforce and creativity from anywhere. It can help with gaining new perspectives and ideas within the enterprise. Remote work culture stems from feeling connections no matter where co-workers live.
Remote Work Challenges
One of the biggest struggles for remote work is communication. It can make it difficult for team members to communicate effectively — especially in a different time zone. Tools like Zoom have made communicating more accessible and feel more connected face to face.
It also faces the challenge of isolation. Living alone might seem like a good idea since there are no distractions, but it takes a toll over time. Making connections and friendships with coworkers is challenging since you only communicate when necessary rather than having friendly conversations each day that build relationships. Managers can address this by encouraging virtual team-building activities and regular check-ins.
How Emerging Workers View Remote Work
Younger generations will likely continue to enjoy and embrace remote work. It offers flexibility, work-life balance and more inclusive workplaces, which is essential to younger people. Integrating remote work into a company benefits the employees and the organization. As people grow, remote work will likely become integrated into more workplaces.
Devin Partida writes about investor technologies, big data and apps. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of ReHack.com.