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Hybrid working will highlight generational gap in the workforce

remote working
(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/bikeriderlondon)

Older, wealthier and married people would generally rather adopt a hybrid working model, a new report from Totem suggests, while younger staff and those that don’t earn as much prefer working from the office.

The employee engagement company recently polled 1,000 UK-based employees who started new jobs between March 2020 and Feb 2021 about their onboarding and remote working experiences. It found that employees aged 55+, who earn $63,000 and up, or are married would rather work in a hybrid model. 

Full-time remote working is relatively unpopular among all employees, with just 9 percent saying they’d prefer this approach.

When it comes to starting a new position or onboarding, most people agree that face-to-face is better. Four in five 18-24-year-olds prefer onboarding in the office, compared to 71 percent of those 55+.

“There are parts [of remote work] I love but parts I miss, like the social interaction. There’s only so many escape rooms you can do over Zoom, and I don’t ever want to do a quiz again,” said one of the participants.

For others, full-time remote working is “not as good as being in the office, but it’s workable.”

According to Marcus Thornley, Totem CEO and founder, the research shows that businesses shouldn’t try to enforce a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to where people work. Instead, they should ask for feedback before making any moves.

“While some companies have been quick to give up their office spaces and move to 100 percent remote working models, this could negatively impact on their diversity, inclusion, and their talent acquisition and retention, as it will only suit certain demographics of people,” he said. 

“Physical space and interactions will retain an important and relevant role in our workplace culture, so for now, a model that allows people greater choice about where they work is likely to be best, so they are not limited to one location. It’s also important that companies adapt the office space to ensure it’s a place of collaboration for people, rather than somewhere people are mandated to work for the sake of it.”