Hybrid Working Matters to All Generations

Digital collaboration tooling company Miro released the results of The Ways We Work survey at their Miro:Distributed event. The results reinforced the preference for hybrid working, identified the importance of finding ways to stay connected when not in-person and showed how the driving factors for work have evolved. PWC’s Global Workforce Hopes and Fears research has highlighted that the in-person workforce is feeling under-appreciated and many are at risk of leaving.

The survey explored factors around work location, teamwork and individual motivators.

Looking at the Where of Work, the survey found that

Nearly 90% of workers don’t want to be in the office full time – and more than half prefer hybrid flexibility.

A Harvard Business Review article explores How to Do Hybrid Right emphasises the importance of adapting to individual needs rather than just focusing on institutional needs. The article points out that hybrid work needs to include flexibility in both time and location, and discusses how asynchronous work is becoming much more normal.

The Miro research looked at generational differences and found the following:

  • Both Gen Z and Boomers say feeling connected to coworkers and not wanting to leave their teams is the top reason why they’re likely to remain at their job and unlikely to look for a role elsewhere in the next year.
  • Baby Boomers built relationships by casually chatting on messenger apps, trumping in-person or virtual events as a way to feel close to colleagues (23%) in equal numbers as Gen Z (23%). This response was tied for Boomers with the fact that they felt that collaborating on the work itself (23%) also builds connection.
  • More Gen Z workers report improved ties to leadership today than workers from other generations (50% vs. 44% Millennials, 36% Gen X, and 40% Baby Boomers).
  • Only 38% of Gen X express feeling a stronger relationship with their direct manager in the pandemic (compared to 48% Gen Z, 42% Gen Y, and 40% Baby Boomers) today,
  • Among workers who feel their relationships with their managers improved since pre-pandemic, nearly half of Gen Z (42%) and more than one-third of boomers (37%) attribute this to their manager encouraging their professional growth and giving them challenges.
  • What makes a great manager? Gen Z and Baby Boomers prioritize opportunities for growth and learning, while Millennials and Gen X want bosses who prioritize work/life balance.
  • Only 38% of Gen X express feeling a stronger relationship with their direct manager in the pandemic (compared to 48% Gen Z, 42% Gen Y, and 40% Baby Boomers) today,

A PWC Strategy & Business paper looks at the needs of younger workers and says that

Their biggest priorities are training, development, flexibility, autonomy, and transparency on social issues.

The Miro research looked at what individuals want out of a job today and found that these are the most important factors driving individual fulfilment and engagement with work:

  • 58% of workers say they always or very often feel proud of their work.
  • The top three qualities of a dream job are: 1) high salary, 2) flexible hours, and 3) remote work option.
  • 24% of Gen Z workers rank compensation as the top quality of a dream job, compared to 47% Millennials, 49% Gen X, and 34% Baby Boomers.
  • One quarter (25%) of Gen X would walk away from their dream job if it was offered with a drop in their current compensation. Their Millennial counterparts (24%) would do the same.
  • 58% of hybrid workers say high compensation is their top dream job criteria, compared to 33% of remote and 31% of onsite workers.
  • The top three deal breakers that would make knowledge workers turn down their dream job are: 1) lower pay, 2) relocation requirement, and 3) 100% in-office role.
  • Relocation is the top dream job dealbreaker for Gen Z and Baby Boomers.
  • 27% of remote workers say they’re likely to leave their job in the next year, compared to 44% onsite.

The PWC research explored what is happening with workers for whom hybrid and remote work is not an option. The article In the shift to hybrid work, don’t overlook your in-person workforce makes the point that

Many knowledge workers have more flexibility in their jobs than ever before. But in-person workers are feeling overlooked and underappreciated, and many are at risk of leaving.

These workers are significantly less engaged and less satisfied than people who can work from home, and more than one-third of them may soon look for another job.

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