Gen Z Striking Back at Employers Who Require Them to go Back to the Office

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Young workers are balking at their employers if they ask them to return to the office. According to a survey from the ADP Research Institute, “71% of 18 to 24 year olds said that ‘if my employer insisted on me returning to my workplace full-time, I would consider looking for another job.'” Even when not considering that specific age group, over half (64%) of all respondents answered the same way.

If you watch much TikTok, you will see that younger workers have a very different view of work than their predecessor generations. They do not see themselves in terms of their job or their career. While older generations might meet and ask first “what do you do,” Generation Z might ask “what do you do for fun.”

Nela Richardson, the chief economist at ADP and co-author of the report “People at Work 2022: A Global Workforce View” states that “across the board we’re seeing workers place more value and priority on time.” Earlier generations were more concerned with titles and how much money they made. Younger workers, while they understand the need for money, also want employers to respect their need for time away from work.

It may be more about a desire for flexibility from their employers than from just not wanting to be in the office. Young workers are demanding more flexibility from their employers and if they don’t get it, they aren’t afraid to look elsewhere. One young worker who quit her job put it this way: “I didn’t want to be at a company where leadership was so unwilling to listen to their employees and control was more important than keeping your people happy.” 

The pandemic is responsible for a lot of how people feel about working at home versus working in the office. When workers were forced to work from home, many learned that they didn’t need to be physically in an office to do good work. Employers may need to begin to accept this concept, if they want to retain employees. Do you think Generation Z will make a significant change in how Americans work?

Stacey Warner

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