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| 3 minutes read

Return to Office - it's not for everyone

Some companies are insisting their employees return to office whilst others are content with the fully remote or hybrid working models. Interestingly however, as this article suggests, there is a generational divide in opinion regarding remote work Vs returning to the office.

New research indicates Gen Z and Baby Boomers, although decades apart are favouring the return to office whereas, millennials have a preference for remote. And in all honesty, the reasons make complete sense.

I'm a millennial and like many of my colleagues and friends, we all have our own home and families with at least one child and perhaps like me, another on the way. As such, the dreaded 9-5, 5 days per week in the office simply does not support our family life. Thinking back to pre 2019, I was the first in the office and the last to leave, often wasting 3+ hours commuting to and from the office. I would be reliant on my Wife to do nursery drop off and collection for our son - who by the way, is also a highly career driven professional dealing with the juggles of family life and work not least, having a rather inflexible work policy to navigate. I would be lucky to arrive home for a cuddle with my son ten minutes before bedtime most days and quite frankly it was awful.

Fast forward to today, I have a six year old son who I get to take and collect from school every day. I'm able to plan my work schedule often around my family and no longer need to sit in traffic for hours and hours each week. I have a brilliant office set up at home which allows me to separate ‘work’ from ‘home’ and I've never once missed a school assembly or an important meeting with my son's asthma consultant.

Am I less productive? Not at all.

Remote working has been a blessing for me. I am however fortunate that we do have the luxury of an office which provides me the opportunity to mix things up, catch up with colleagues or drop in ad-hoc to strategize with my management team. I'm currently sat in our office typing this article. 

Equally, having managed fresh graduates from the Gen Z demographic, those who are typically still living in shared accommodation or at home, I can empathise with the need to be present in the office, to mentor and support them and for them to learn and feed off other, more experienced colleagues in a setting where they can thrive. I've also worked with more mature colleagues who have different preferences and are most accustomed to office work, typically it is what they have been used to for the best part of their career.

Point is, all demands are different and if you as an employer want to attract, retain and motivate your staff, you shouldn't impose a one size fits all approach to how and where you want your employees to be based/work from.

Demands are different and compassion and empathy is needed. Gen Z may prefer office based employment right now, but what happens when they too fly the nest or settle down to start a family. Be flexible and listen to personal needs, your employees are the heart and soul of your business so find a way to accommodate individual needs otherwise these employees - the brilliant, creative, hard-working, dedicated and focused individuals will start to look for opportunities with companies that really do care about their wellbeing. 

At Hyperion Executive Search, we accommodate the needs of all of our employees by offering fully remote, hybrid or office based employment. As a business, we work with a number of start-up and scale-up businesses to help attract the very best talent in the market. Increasingly, we are seeing more and more talented individuals seeking flexibility over financial gain and coincidently, our clients who are the most flexible are also the ones who go on to achieve great success in attracting and retaining their staff as well as achieving their growth objectives. 

hybrid work has emerged victorious. It allows for some days spent working at home and some in the office, whatever the ideal mix for a particular company or employee.


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