For the past 12 months or so, organisations have been adapting to, creating and solidifying their remote work polices for the post-COVID-19 era. However, there are concerns that productivity and preferences of newer and younger employees are leaving some businesses to consider enforcing different rules for junior employees.
The changes in lifestyle the pandemic have sparked extend far beyond frantic efforts to look presentable for a morning Zoom meeting. As the pandemic has rendered offices unsafe, the traditional career path a fresh graduate takes have suffered slightly. Young workers have learned to temper their expectations, while companies have been forced to foster the development of greener employees without the convenience of human contact.
A recent survey has suggested that younger employees indicated a preference for in-person work. A study conducted by PwC shows that 34% of workers aged 18-24 would prefer working remotely one day a week or less. On the other hand, 82% of upper-level employees say working remotely has been far better and more productive than expected.
However, there are positives that younger employees can take from working from home, such as:
- Custom environment – as a new employee, it can be difficult settling into a new office and a new environment, especially with no previous familiarity with your colleagues. By being in a familiar, comfortable environment, you should feel some of the pressure off your shoulders.
- Saving money – junior employees and recent graduates aren’t exactly in the best financial situation; by working from home, you can save money spent on travel, food and other expenses you might find when working in an office, which is especially handy when you are paying back student loans.
- Flexible schedule – as a junior employee, you might feel slightly more apprehensive when asking to take breaks. However, when working from home, you can take breaks at any moment and work to a schedule that is more suited to you.
While there are positives to remote working for junior employees, organisations such as Facebook are trying their best to get younger employees back into the office, as to not miss out on valuable networking and mentorship opportunities.
There are also valid reasons to why younger employees are probably the ones most likely to benefit from being in the office and are in favour of working in-office. For one, the coaching they can receive would be highly beneficial, and is not the same as being mentored over a video call. Furthermore, the social interactions have a lot more value than recognised, but it isn’t present when working from home. Both the employers and the employees would benefit from an initial, in-person onboarding phase.
What are your thoughts on remote-working? If you are a junior employee, do you find that remote-working is the most beneficial path for you?
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By Anirudh Nair