3 Things The Gen Z Workforce Should Consider Before Accepting A Fully Remote Position

James Britton CFP, CLU, EPC profile photo

James Britton CFP, CLU, EPC

Financial Planner
Britton Wealth Management and Planning Consultants Inc.
Fax : 866-202-2935

In the post-pandemic world many of us dream about, extra masks won’t be kept in the glove compartment. In-person theater will erase the instinct to socially distance and elbow taps will be replaced with warm handshakes. But as for morning commutes to the office, the future remains unclear.



According to a recent study from the Pew Research Center, 59% of Americans who can perform their jobs at home work remotely all or most of the time. While this is down from the 71% of people who were working remotely in October 2020, the majority of people working from home are now doing so by choice, which means there’s a good chance the prevalence of remote work will outlive the pandemic.

Over the past 23 months, many employees have realized the benefits of working remotely extend well beyond avoiding pesky office germs. Lunchtime can be spent breaking a sweat or baking bread, and regardless of where you work, everyone who clocks out at 5 p.m. has the luxury of arriving at their couch by 5:01 p.m.

And yet, while some personal bubbles blossom with walks around the neighborhood and at-home yoga, research shows that this convenience comes with a disturbance — crumbling communication, forgotten company culture, and isolated employees.

For many people, the benefits of working remotely outweigh the consequences. Parents who are now working from home, for instance, can skimp on after-school care. But for the Gen Z workforce — born between 1997 and 2012 — working remotely may not be the fulfilling and beneficial work experience they’re looking for. Here are three drawbacks to working remotely the Gen Z workforce should take into consideration before agreeing to work from home 40 hours a week.

  1. Isolated employees. The study from the Pew Research Center found that 60% of employees feel less connected to their coworkers now than they did when they were working in an office, a trend that has also emerged in other work from home studies conducted during the pandemic.
    Maintaining strong bonds with coworkers may not seem important to employees who, having worked at a company for several years, already feel established in their job and satisfied in their social lives. But for the fresh-out-of-college and wide-eyed Gen Zer, no trips to the office also means no trips to the water cooler to chat with coworkers.
    Companies working remotely rely heavily on platforms like Zoom and Slack to communicate. Since more messages result in more notifications and longer meetings, employees speak to each other more deliberately in the remote workplace than they would in an office. This can make it harder for new employees to turn work relationships into friendships. When your only window into a coworker’s personal life is their Zoom background or profile picture on Slack, it’s difficult to feel connected during the workday, let alone encouraged to hang out after work.
    Moreover, research indicates that the lack of in person connection can translate into less promotions and rising in the ranks for those who aren’t having face-to-face time with their boss.
  2. Decreased motivation. Where employees clock in from has varying effects on productivity and focus. A poll from Gallup indicates that 41% of people who prefer to work in the office say it’s because they feel more productive. And while most people prefer to work remotely because it allows them to avoid commuting, 29% also say they experience fewer distractions while working at home.
    What works best for one employee won’t be the ideal scenario for everyone across the board. However, research shows that an employee’s age can be a helpful indicator of how they will respond to the remote work environment. Another study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that working from home creates a lack of motivation in 53% of employees ages 18 to 29, an issue that only affects 20% of adults ages 50 and older.
    One explanation for the lack of motivation Gen Zers and young Millennials experience is the poor communication and limited accountability that exists outside the office. A Gen Z college graduate who began a fully remote PR position during the pandemic told Time that “Remotely, you really have to spell things out for people. If someone doesn’t see you, they don’t know you.” Without being physically present in the office, employers have difficulty picking up on employees’ needs and emotions, which can be detrimental to their morale.
  3. Disorienting work-life balance. Researchers at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology conducted studies that showed that working remotely makes it difficult for people to maintain a separation between their professional and personal lives. Participants, who worked from home, described feeling like they’re living in dysphoria caused by a lack of barriers between their private life and their public life as well as the real world and the virtual world.
    Some Gen Zers entering the workforce may already feel comfortable navigating the lack of boundaries that come with working remotely. For others, not having a reason to leave the house in the morning can feel disorienting.
    According to a survey by TenSpot, only 30% of Gen Z workers want to work remotely full time. Regardless of where you land on the issue, think carefully before you make a decision.

The question you need to ask yourself is no longer “What do you want to do for a living?” but “How do you want to do what you do for a living?”

By Ashley Stahl, Contributor

© 2022 Forbes Media LLC. All Rights Reserved

This Forbes article was legally licensed through AdvisorStream.

James Britton CFP, CLU, EPC profile photo

James Britton CFP, CLU, EPC

Financial Planner
Britton Wealth Management and Planning Consultants Inc.
Fax : 866-202-2935