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Gen X and boomers want to return to office while Gen Z and millennials prefer to wait. (Mint)
Gen X and boomers want to return to office while Gen Z and millennials prefer to wait. (Mint)

Employees divided on return to office spaces

  • Human resources experts said that older workers may have either found it more difficult to adapt to remote working than their younger cohorts
  • In the long term, 64% professionals in manufacturing and 60% in corporate services think their companies will be better off in the next one year

While companies set up elaborate new routines to bring their employees back to office, many are reluctant to return, wary of contaminated transport and shared office spaces.

Among those who are most willing to return to offices are older professionals or so-called Gen Xers, according to a LinkedIn survey in India. Surprisingly, the younger lot are the least eager to return, the survey found.

According to LinkedIn’s Workforce Confidence Index, which surveyed 1,351 professionals across sectors in India from 1-14 June, 38% of the respondents who are willing to go back to their workplace are Gen X (41 to 55 years) and 29% are boomers (56-76 years). On the other hand, 29% of the respondents who wanted to continue working remotely are Gen Z (18-24 years) and 32% were millennials (26-40 years).

Human resources experts said that older workers may have either found it more difficult to adapt to remote working than their younger cohorts or their jobs require them to be in offices to effectively manage teams.

“While younger workers are adept at using digital means of communication, senior professionals may find it challenging to hire and manage performance of remote teams," said Abhijit Bhaduri, a human resources expert.

The survey, which also delves into the financial outlook of Indian workers in the post-lockdown era, found that only 25% expect their income to increase in the next six months.

“Professionals will continue to be prudent about money management, given the prevailing uncertainties. While some businesses in the digital space are seeing growth, the actual financial impact on India Inc. will only become clear when listed companies release their results for the quarter ended 30 June," said Harsh Johari, a leadership coach.

The survey found that 55% of professionals are concerned about being exposed to infected people and those neglecting safety precautions required for containment of covid-19. Around 42% of millennials are concerned about commuting to work while 46% are reluctant to eat in common spaces with others.

In terms of sector-wise expectations, 50% of professionals in corporate services, 46% in manufacturing, and 41% in education feel their companies will perform better in the next six months.

In the long term, 64% professionals in manufacturing and 60% in corporate services think their companies will be better off in the next one year.

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