Millennials Prefer Office to Remote Work

Who says all millennials want to work remotely?

Although 82 percent of U.S. workers recently surveyed by Randstad US say the ability to work from anywhere at any time allows them to maintain a healthy work/life balance, 62 percent say they still prefer to work in the office–and that figure goes up even higher for young workers.

Randstad US recently released results from its quarterly Randstad Workmonitor survey. Originally launched in the Netherlands in 2003, the survey has grown to encompass more than 30 countries spread out across Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas. Published four times a year, the survey aims to heighten visibility of both local and global trends in mobility.

According to the latest survey, 65 percent of those ages 18 to 24 said they prefer working in a traditional office environment, challenging the widespread perception that millennial and Gen Z workers tend to prefer digital interactions over personal ones.

Although flexible and remote work arrangements are a top priority for employees, the survey finds that some employers don’t offer such options, or don’t provide enough tools to fully support them:

  • Sixty-six percent of workers say they like the option of occasionally working from home or another location, but aren’t able to do so.
  • Thirty-six percent of respondents report their workplaces support their working from home any time and anywhere they want.
  • A third (35 percent) of employees disagrees that their employers provide the necessary technical equipment to enable them to work from home.
  • Thirty percent of workers say they regularly have online or virtual team meetings via video conferencing.

Working from home or another location is an attractive option to employees, according to the survey:

  • Sixty-six percent of workers say they prefer to occasionally work from home or another location.
  • Eighty percent of workers say they like agile work (defined in the study as the ability to work from anywhere, any time) because it increases their productivity, creativity and job satisfaction.
  • More than half of all respondents (61 percent) don’t believe this type of work interferes with their personal lives, or their ability to disconnect from work.

“The takeaway for employers: Workers appreciate having the option to work when and where they want, but also value interacting with colleagues face-to-face in the workplace,” says Jim Link, CHRO, Randstad North America. “Employers who strike the right balance–making flexible work arrangements as accessible as possible through technology while also cultivating a thriving office culture–will succeed in attracting and retaining top talent.”

Michael J. O'Brienhttp://
Michael J. O’Brien is former web editor with Human Resource Executive®.