- Nearly half (48%) of employees under 35 prefer working in the office to working elsewhere, ZDNet reports, citing a new study conducted by UK-based communications services firm Maintel. Researchers studied 1,000 employed UK adults age 18 and over.
- The study also found that only 19% of the respondents over 55 preferred the office to working remotely, says ZDNet. Additionally, 28% of all workers felt it was more difficult to access managers when working from home.
- "Rather than forcing the blanket adoption of either home working or office working, companies must have flexibility to allow employees to work where they feel most productive and ensure they have the right tools to keep in touch wherever they are," said Rufus Grig, CTO at Maintel.
Could a reverse trend in remote working follow the telecommuting/mobile boom that occurred in the past few decades and continues today? Age and the family and home responsibilities that normally come with that maturity undoubtedly drive employees' preference for working away from the office.
Younger workers might prefer the workplace as their primary location for the business and social connections it provides. They also might be influenced by social media's push for personal and professional visibility.
Giving employees options about where and how they like working can be a competitive recruiting strategy and an effective means of increasing productivity. But in providing workers flexibility to accommodate all preferences, employers must consider the cost to productivity. That means measuring their efforts to keep remote workers engaged and developing recruiting strategies that will attract and retain top candidates.
Organizations must also plan for office space based on usage and energy costs, and therefore need a ballpark head count of how many workers are likely to use that space. Open workspaces might be a low-cost solution, but they aren't suited to all work styles and habits.