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It’s Younger Employees, Not the More Tenured, Who Want to Return to the Office

Published Fri Jun 18 2021


It might be a little counterintuitive, but managers hoping to make a case for returning to the office might find a strong ally in their youngest employees. A recent study revealed that while younger staff members have enjoyed the freedom this period of remote work has offered, many feel anxious about the lack of training and career advancement opportunities offered to them if they continue to work remotely indefinitely. Studies show 60 percent of employees 18–40 favor a hybrid work arrangement—one where in-person networking and informal mentoring are possible. “Socialization into the organizational culture, making connections, understanding the soft tissue—the unwritten rules—of the organization, that is where time together is also really, really important. To build and feel the culture of the organization, that is particularly critical for younger people,” said Michael Smets, professor of management at Oxford’s Saïd Business School, adding, “I think the office is critical. The key question is why and what for?”

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