Gen Z remote workers are ‘probably not going to become CEOs’ and will likely fall behind their in-office peers, says NYU business professor

Remote work has its advantages, such as eliminating commutes and providing increased productivity for many employees. However, for Gen Z workers who are at the starting point of their careers, in-person collaboration at the office may offer better opportunities for advancement. Suzy Welch, a business professor at New York University, suggests that those who exclusively work remotely may have a different definition of success. While they may not become CEOs, they may prioritize a different type of fulfillment. 

Welch also cautions that remote workers may face challenges in the long run, potentially missing out on financial rewards and falling behind their colleagues who establish a more visible presence in the office. She emphasizes the importance of skipping social events to prioritize work obligations and client engagements. 

A TikTok video by Gen Zer expressing frustration with the time-consuming commute to the office went viral recently. The individual questioned how they would have time for friends and dating, given their limited free time and high levels of stress. They suggested that remote work would provide a better work-life balance, enabling them to finish work at 5 p.m. and be in the comfort of their own home. Alternatively, if the office were within walking distance, bypassing the commute due to expensive rent in the area would solve the problem. 

Welch points out that success has never been solely about a nine-to-five job. This has been true for previous generations and will continue to be the case moving forward. Remote workers may also be susceptible to job outsourcing, as an Indian investor in Australia recently indicated that jobs in Australia could be outsourced to India due to cost advantages. 

Furthermore, Gen Zers who choose remote work should be aware of proximity bias, which refers to the inclination of company leaders to favor employees who are physically present. Overcoming this bias can be challenging during performance evaluations, promotions, and even downsizing decisions. 

One of the most significant drawbacks for Gen Zers opting for remote work is the potential lack of mentoring opportunities. A report from WFH Research suggests that in-office workers spend more time receiving and providing mentorship compared to their remote counterparts. 

However, despite these challenges, a State of Workers report from Morning Consult reveals that Gen Z still shows a strong preference for working in an office. This is likely because they strive to grow quickly and recognize the benefits that in-person collaboration and mentorship can offer.  

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