While often associated with tech savvy Gen Z or Zoomers, new global research from Accenture shows that the push for more
flexible working environments is being led by Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.
Accenture’s survey of over 9,000 workers across the world found:90% of the global workforce was working on-site prior to the pandemic.83% of people identified a hybrid working model – where employees could work outside the office for at least a quarter
of the time - as being optimal in the future.74% of Gen Z want more opportunities to work in face-to-face settings with colleagues, compared to just 66% of Gen Xers
and 68% of Baby Boomers.
Managing Director of Accenture New Zealand Ben Morgan says:
“Hybrid working – where employees can work remotely or in the office – had been a growing trend before Covid-19. When
New Zealand went into lockdown, thousands more workers had to find a way to work remotely and retain productivity.
“Businesses were forced to increase their remote working capabilities by moving their operations to the cloud and
implementing flexible working arrangements for their people. Now with the country in Alert Level 1 and the vaccine
rollout underway, employees are pushing for businesses to utilise their tech investments and adopt hybrid working.”
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.
“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.”
Morgan says that the push for more remote working arrangements by employees stems from our experience with lockdown and
greater appreciation of getting better work-life balance.
While hybrid working models can be beneficial for workers’ wellbeing, workplaces will need to make sure they create the
space for more senior colleagues to impart knowledge to those entering the workforce.
“It is little surprise that 74 per cent of Gen Zs want there to be more opportunity in the workplace to collaborate with
their colleagues face-to-face. Despite being digital natives, they know that a lot of knowledge is passed on in the
workplace via in-person interactions and informal training.
“While businesses should look to hybrid working as a way to enhance employee productivity and wellbeing, they will also
need to balance that with employee cohesion and upskilling from senior employees.”
Accenture’s research, The Future of Work: Productive Anywhere, is available here