Gen Z Drives Work Revolution: Flexibility Over Office Returns, Survey Shows
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Rachel Dammala
Hyderabad: With a new generation hitting the workspace this decade, numerous surveys have showed a shift in work trends, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic. The persistent debate on the future of work reveals that the DNA of work has changed, with companies and Gen Z voicing different opinions on the working style.
While some advocate a hybrid structure, others quickly quash the idea with their firm stance on return to office.
According to a survey, ‘People At Work 2022: A Global Workforce View’ by ADP Research Institute, two thirds (64 per cent) of the workforce would consider looking for a new job if they were required to return to the office full time.
Contrary to assumptions, younger people (18-24-year-olds) were the most reluctant (71%) to return to the workplace full-time, according to the survey.
Employees are prepared to make compromises if it meant more flexibility or a hybrid approach to work location with more than half (52 per cent) willing to accept a pay cut – as much as 11 per cent – to guarantee this arrangement. Also, those working from home are also more prone to working longer hours, as much as an extra 8.7 hours per week.
Riddhi Kasinath, an IT professional, said that work from office had limited her effectiveness. "Since we're currently on a hybrid model, our weekly and monthly assessments are proof enough to show that I'm more active and productive by working in an atmosphere conducive to me," she said. Romil Biswas, a recent intern-turned-employee said that the traffic in the city, and not just around the IT corridor, made reaching the office and returning home a hassle. "Most of time and energies are exhausted in these three hours every day," he told Deccan Chronicle.
Priyanka Bodi, a second year MBA student, who has been working parttime at an e-commerce company, said that if working remotely was not an option, she would have had a tough time balancing work and get studies. "Because people saw that working offsite is possible, flexibility is the primary work benefit they're looking for when applying for job," she said.
Sricharan Tadepalli, co-founder and CSO of city-based byteXL, which encourages a hybrid work culture, said that comfort and efficiency could co-exist. Taking their co-workers preference had led the company to move towards a hybrid workspace. "Encouraging employees to come to office on a select few days allows them to have connect with each other, collaborate on strategic tasks and build a sense of community while avoiding the day-to-day travel related stress and utilising the time in developing innovative solutions rather," he opined.
Prem Kumar Vislawath of Marut Drones, a young start-up with a team of 75 innovators working out of IIIT-Hyderabad, said that the pandemic made them think about the future of work a lot more urgent, and so decided to work out of IIIT-H campus. "The university space gives us flexibility of timing, employees can choose the starting and finishing times of their workday. The employees have no restrictions and can work at any hour suitable to them. We tracked that the workspace also generated more productivity. We believe that the seeds of innovation can sprout from the most unexpected places and at most unexpected timings," he added.