Sign in
Post a Job

Where Generation Z and Boomers Agree about Remote Work

Search Remotely Gen Z And Baby Boomers Remote Work

What percentage of each generation constitutes the working population? John Hopkins University reports that Baby Boomers represent almost 19% of the working population, Generation X, 35.5% and Millennials, 39.4%.  Zurich Insurance projects that within the next two years (by 2025), workers from Generation Z will make up  27% of the work force on the account of retiring Baby Boomers. So, what do we know about Gen Z and the likelihood that they will prefer remote or hybrid working arrangements? Skip to the last paragraph if you are a remote team leader, remote manager interested in improving multi-generational remote work environments.

Other articles you might like:

Gen Z: The future of work

Research suggests that Gen Z young adults born between the ages of 1995 to 2010 and are aged eight to 23 years came of age using Smartphones, social media and the internet.  Many believe them to be the epitome of the Age of the Internet. They  mastered at a very young age, information technology, the world wide web and social media playforms. As they aggressively built their personal online profiles, they neglected, many argued, to nurture their offline  interpersonal relationships. Skip to the bottom of this article if you’d like to see the data on the ways in which Gen Z and Babyboomers agree about remote work.

On the otherhand, the Baby Boomer generation born between 1946 to 1964 and aged 59 to 77 years are characteristically different.   They may find the use of mobile technologies difficult. Further, their stereotypical strong and focused work ethic may have led them to lead lives that are hyper focused on the pursuit of professional success to the detriment of bonding with family and friends. Even though there are marked differences between Gen Z and Baby Boomers. We have identified one area in which they are in agreements. Believe it or not, there maybe one place of general agreement among Gen Z and Baby Boomers. What is it, you might ask?

Gen Z and Boomers initially wary of remote work

Their perceptions of remote work. Remote work is not suited for everyone. Not all workers prefer working from home or working from anywhere as a digital nomad.  Forty percenty of the class of 2021 college graduates, according to Axios  reject the notion of remote work and conversely they prefer traditional in office, in-person work settings. Here is the breakdown of data from Generation Lab, cited by Axios:

  • 40% prefer in person, in office traditional work settings,
  • 39% have a preference for a hybrid working arrangement,
  • 19 would like to work at home,
  • 3% have no preference.

These findings are similar to those published by the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) when citing 2021 data obtained from iCIMS:

  • 64% wanted to work onsite most of the time or fulltime,
  • 98% prferred hybrid working arrangements,
  • 2% wanted to work at home full time.

Other articles you might like:

At the time, college graduates (Generation Z) were reported to express these thoughts as rationale for onsite preferences:

  • experiencing Zoom fatigue due to mandated university closures and forced  virtual learning through online platforms,
  • expressing a lack of work-from-home readiness,
  • feeling the need for buildingcollegial and mentor relationships,
  • wanting the opportunity to work together with others, and
  • desiring of face-to-face interaction, particularily for their first professional job experience.

Fast forward to 2023. Has the preference for reporting to the traditional in office setting changed for the class of 2023? Inside Higher Education reported upon the following data from Handshake:

  • 72% identified a preference for hybrid working arrangements,
  • 16% preferred a fully remote position,
  • 14% expressed a preference for reporting to a traditional in office setting.

Gen Z and Boomers: Commonalities of preferred work conditions

A more comprehensive study by Gensler that analyzed the specific ways in which people work found the following activities among Gen Z workers:

  • 35% work alone,
  • 28% work with others, in person,
  • 12% work with others virtually (work at home),
  • 12% learning,
  • 13% socializing.

Baby boomers work under these conditions, according to surveys published by Gensler:

  • 49% work alone,
  • 33% work with others, in person,
  • 10% work with others virtually (work at home),
  • 4% learning,
  • 4% socializing.

Similarities among Gen Z and Baby Boomers (according to data presented by PnY):

  • Gen Zers and baby boomers had the highest probability for applying for remote job opportunities, according to LinkedIn.
    • 17% of Gen Zs were more likely to apply for a remote job due to:
      • increased familiarity online platforms,and
      • higher levels of digital literacy and mastery,
    • 15% of Boomers were more likely to apply for a work from home postion because:
      • remote senior positions may be more prevalent,
      • wish to extend their careers, or
      • they are aprehensive about returing to in office settings fulltime.

Other articles you might like:

8 tips for improving multi-generational remote work environments

As we review the aforementioned data on the preferences of remote work, hybrid arrangements or reporting to a traditional in office environment, it is recommended that managers leading teams of remote workers endeavor to do the following:

  • Refrain from acting upon generationally specific stereotypes,
  • Treat each unique request for accommodations with consistency and uniformity,
  • Utilize multiple methods of communication (letters, memos, emails, discussion boards, forums, phone calls, and texts),
  • Engage in multiple forms of social engagement (online and offline retreats, in person and virtual workshops, webinars),
  • Utilize several platforms for conducting professional development (on demand, in person/virtual, group, individual, gamification, with leaderboards)
  • Bring out the best in each employee,
  • Provide individualized supports to struggling employees and create corrective action plan with multiple milestones for success, and
  • Encourage cross-platform, cross-training and multi-discipline approach to sharing skills and abilities.


You cannot copy content of this page