The hybrid working gap: The young, broke and single prefer the office

Older workers are more likely to prefer hybrid working models than younger people.

Half of the employees aged 18 to 24-years-old want to return to the office full time, compared to just 29 percent of over 55s, according to a survey carried out by Totem, an employee engagement, and culture app

The survey showed that 66 percent of workers aged over 55-years-old would instead prefer to embrace hybrid working, working part-time in the office and part-time from home.

It seems though that starting a new job is where people of all age groups are more likely to want face-to-face interaction. 

When it comes to onboarding, 80 percent of 18 to 24-year-old employees would prefer to onboard in the office rather than remotely, compared to 71 percent of over 55s.

Across all age groups, only 9 per cent of workers stated they would want to work from home full time. Women were found to be slightly more in favor of hybrid working than men, with 47 per cent preferring to work part-time in the office and part-time from home, compared to 40 per cent of men.

Totem surveyed 1,000 UK-based employees, who started a new job between March 2020 and Feb 2of this year, about their onboarding and remote working experiences.

Higher earners

The study also found that almost half (47 per cent) of those earning over £45,000 per year want to embrace hybrid working. These numbers increased for those earning more than £125,000 per year, with 54 per cent preferring a hybrid working model rather than working full time in an office (38 per cent).

Those earning below £45,000 per year were more likely to prefer working full time in an office (48 per cent), with only 42 per cent citing they would prefer a hybrid working model.

As with greater wealth equating to stronger hybrid working preference, those earning below £30,000 per year were even more likely to prefer full-time office working (50 per cent).

Only 38 per cent of this group would want to work part-time in the office and part-time from home.

Single people

The data also found a difference in work preference between single people and those who were living with their partner or married.

The study found 48 per cent of single people surveyed would prefer to work full time in the office, compared with 44 per cent preferring a hybrid working model.

People in relationships though, seemed more settled with remote working structures, with almost half (46 per cent) of people living with their partner and half (50 per cent) of married people favoring hybrid working.

“People in certain circumstances are more likely to prefer hybrid or remote working models, such as those earning over £45,000, those who are married, and those who are older,” commented Marcus Thornley, CEO, and founder of Totem.

“Many in these groups are better set up for this type of work compared to lower-earning, single, or younger employees who may be living in smaller or shared accommodation, seek more social interaction with co-workers, and want to gain more work experience face-to-face,” Thornley said.

“While some companies have been quick to give up their office spaces and move to 100 percent remote working models, this could negatively impact on their diversity, inclusion, and their talent acquisition and retention, as it will only suit certain demographics of people,” he added.

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