Understanding generation remote

How do you create an office culture for a generation that has never worked in the office?

REPORT | 7m read
May 25, 2021

Executive summary

  • A subset of Born Digital workers began their careers during the pandemic, and have only ever known a culture where remote work is the norm.
  • They’re only mildly interested in working in a shared physical environment once the pandemic passes.
  • Generation Remote values collaboration and flexibility more than the broader group of Born Digital workers.
  • They also have higher employment anxiety than their older peers.

Generation Remote refers to the subset of Gen Z workers who started their careers from March 2020 onward, i.e., during the Covid-19 pandemic. They’ve only ever experienced working from home and, spoiler alert, they’re not averse to keeping it that way.

You read that correctly. Most of Generation Remote expresses only a passing interest in working out of a physical office. But don’t mistake a lack of interest for apathy. This is a highly motivated and enterprising generation, albeit one with distinct goals.

Here’s how remote work has impacted Generation Remote’s values and aspirations.

A closer look

Compared to the broader group of Born Digital workers, Generation Remote cares more deeply about a good work-life balance. Almost nine out of 10 Generation Remote respondents say this is very important to them, making it the top priority for this group, whereas the rest of Born Digital give “job satisfaction” more importance.

Interestingly, when compared to just Gen Z workers who’ve known an office environment, Generation Remote’s requirements are different as well. The vast majority of Generation Remote, 86 percent, say that a highly collaborative company culture is important to them when choosing an employer, versus just 77 percent of Gen Z workers who started work before March 2020.

The remarkable traits of Generation Remote only build from there. Compared to their older Born Digital colleagues, Generation Remote cares more about a sense of purpose in their jobs and the feeling that they are “doing good.” But with those higher standards comes a heightened sense of employment anxiety. Generation Remote entered the workforce during a period of economic instability, and broadly, they’re more anxious about losing their jobs than their older peers are.

87%

of Generation Remote put “good work-life balance” on the top of their list of job requirements.

57%

of Generation Remote says that the pandemic has made them anxious about losing their job.

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