The return to in-person office work has been met with very mixed feelings. While some employers have pushed to get people back at their desks, many employees have pushed back. However, a new survey finds that Gen Zs are something of an outlier; they’re more interested in the in-office experience than their generational counterparts.
This is according to the 2022 Canadian Workplace Survey from the Gensler Research Institute, Gensler’s global research arm, which attributes the younger generation’s desire to be in the office to a “pent up demand for learning and career development opportunities.” The survey also finds that 43% of Gen Z respondents report coming into the office to access technology, 42% to attend meetings, and 39% to access specific spaces, materials, and resources.
Gensler’s research also explores why employees of other generations are motivated the return to the office, how the office can more effectively support them, and the strategic mix of design solutions and experiences that will accelerate their return.
Generally speaking, employees are open to returning to the office more frequently, “but only if the workplace offers the right experiences,” the research stipulates. “The quality of their office environments is holding them back.”
The survey finds that 24% of employees would be willing to return to the office full-time if provided a range of workspaces, while 42% would be willing to add an extra in-office day to their weeks. Diversifying the in-office experience stands to not only appease employees, but improve productivity at a time when the workplace’s effectiveness for focused work is at a 15-year low.
In addition, Gensler’s research shows that employees in high-performing workplaces are almost twice as likely to have a positive experience in the in-office format, citing benefits to personal well-being, career advancement, and job satisfaction. As such, those in high-performing workplaces express more willingness to return to in-person office work more regularly, suggesting that “the workplace can be a critical tool for talent attraction and retention.”