Accenture report: Boomers and Gen X lead charge to work from home

Accenture report: Boomers and Gen X lead charge to work from home

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Boomers and Gen X are happy to work from home but those under 24 years want more face-to-face time in the office a new report has found. Photo / Getty

Boomers and Gen X rather than the tech-savvy younger generations are leading the work from home movement an in-depth report has found.

As people around the world return to the workplace in some capacity, a report by Accenture has revealed those older than 40 are most comfortable working remotely.

Of the generation known as Gen Z – or Zoomers – 74 per cent prefer to have more time face-to-face in the office.

Gen Z, born between 1997 and 2015, are those under 24-year-olds in the workforce.

Ben Morgan, from Accenture NZ, said the findings were unexpected but made sense.

Ben Morgan, Accenture New Zealand Managing Director, says well structured hybrid work is best. Photo / Supplied
Ben Morgan, Accenture New Zealand Managing Director, says well structured hybrid work is best. Photo / Supplied

“Despite being digital natives, they know that a lot of knowledge is passed on in the workplace via in-person interactions and informal training.”

Morgan said businesses needed to ensure the younger generations had direct contact with more experienced staff for training.

“Businesses should look to hybrid working as a way to enhance employee productivity and wellbeing, but they will also need to balance that with employee cohesion and upskilling from senior employees.”

The research, The Future of Work: Productive Anywhere, found that 83 per cent of people said a hybrid work model was optimal.

Of the 9326 workers from 11 countries interviewed, 40 per cent felt they could be productive and healthy anywhere — either fully remote or onsite or a combination of the two — as the hybrid workplace emerges.

Further, 85 per cent of people who say they can be productive and healthy anywhere also say they plan to stay with their company for a long time.

Accenture research shows that hybrid working is better for employee health.

“Our research found that those people who work in a range of locations – such as from the office and from home – have fewer cases of burnout than employees who work solely from home or solely at the office,” Morgan said.

“The question for business leaders is now less of where should employees work from, and more a question of how can we increase staff morale and productivity? For many workers, part of the answer is hybrid working.”

Jodie Shelley from 2Degrees said the company had tweaked its hybrid model to work better. Photo / Supplied
Jodie Shelley from 2Degrees said the company had tweaked its hybrid model to work better. Photo / Supplied

Telecommunications company 2degrees has embraced the hybrid model but it has evolved to improve culture and communication within the company.

Teams at 2degrees were at first required to be in the office two days a week but that has recently increased to three – with one of those either a Monday or a Friday.

“The flexibility was great but we were keeping an eye on how this impacted culture and as we progressed we had some concerns that two days a week was not enough,” Shelley said.

“We were worried about the long term impact on our culture – which is one of the real strengths of 2degrees,” said chief of people Jodie Shelley.

Shelley said the move gave a “real boost in the energy of our people and the collaboration of our teams”.

Despite the report finding that Boomer and Gen X cohorts were most likely to want to work from home there had not been any noticeable split between the generations at 2degrees.

“Anecdotally some parents find it easier to be in the office full time when the kids are on school holidays, and home is a bit noisier than usual,” she said.

“Ultimately, we have a bold vision to be a ‘first choice’ employer and we’ll keep monitoring and improving how we work on a bunch of flexibility initiatives.

“Ultimately, we have a bold vision to be a ‘first choice’ employer and we’ll keep monitoring and improving how we work on a bunch of flexibility initiatives.”

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