Illustration of members of Generation Z using tech devices.
Image: © VectorMine/Stock.adobe.com

Why we should listen to Gen Z’s response to remote working

25 Feb 2021758 Views

How does Gen Z feel about remote working? Casey Welch of jobs platform Tallo explains why businesses should pay attention to how the younger generation is getting on.

We don’t know yet how many companies will opt for an alternative working model after the pandemic, but jobs platform Tallo is confident that the Gen Z response to remote working will be a deciding factor. As a digital-native talent pool, flexibility may be a priority for this younger generation that will be the future leaders of the workforce.

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In an effort to know more about young people’s perceptions of remote working, Tallo recently surveyed 850 college students in the US. Of that number, 63pc said they would accept a role that is primarily virtual, 86pc said they would feel just as productive in a remote role and 74pc said they’d prefer a job with both remote and in-person opportunities.

Tallo’s co-founder and CEO, Casey Welch, believes that remote work will become a much more common practice going forward.

“We’ve all seen the headlines of the big tech companies who have committed to staying remote indefinitely, but there are also plenty of smaller and mid-sized companies who have been persuaded by the benefits of having a remote workforce,” he told Siliconrepublic.com. “In addition to having smaller physical offices and lower overhead costs, companies are also able to drastically increase the size of their talent pool.

“If a recruiter isn’t requiring employees to live within driving distance of an office, they’ll increase their chances of finding employees who will be the exact right fit for the roles they’re hiring for.”

Gen Z’s ‘surprising reaction’

Welch found the reaction Gen Z has to remote working to be surprising. “In short, they’re not fully on board. Before the pandemic, I would have guessed that Gen Z’ers would be the first group to embrace the chance to have an entirely virtual work experience.”

The fact that almost three-quarters of respondents to Tallo’s survey said they’d prefer a job that offers both remote and in-person opportunities may be telling.

“Despite this younger generation’s comfort with technology and virtual connections, they are very clearly looking for a work environment that would allow them to have face-to-face interactions with their colleagues. I believe that this is heavily due to their desire to network and make meaningful connections,” Welch said.

“Generation Z values mentorship, and their keen understanding of the importance of networking has increased over the past year. At the end of 2019 and again in August 2020, we asked Gen Z’ers how important it is to them to establish connections with employers even if they don’t have an immediate job opening.

“Six months into the pandemic, the percentage who responded that establishing those connections is ‘very important’ increased from 59pc to 81pc.”

When companies are strategising for how they’ll work after the pandemic, Welch advised “taking a page out of Generation Z’s book”.

“In a recent Tallo survey, members of Generation Z reported that the number one soft skill they developed during the Covid-19 pandemic was adaptability,” he said.

“This future generation has been heavily impacted by the pandemic; they’re graduating high school, navigating college and entering the workforce amidst unprecedented changes. They’re navigating this turbulence by being flexible and adapting to new realities, which is something I’d encourage employees and employers alike to focus on.”

Tallo infographic showing what Gen Z think about remote working.

Click to enlarge. Infographic: Tallo

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Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa was appointed careers editor in January 2021.

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