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Does Gen Z Give A S**t About Remote Work?

Does Gen Z Give A S**t About Remote Work?

Will Gen Z job seekers turn down things like high salary and supportive mentorship for flexible work privileges? 

Well, in this post-pandemic world where remote and hybrid work models have become increasingly common, not all organisations can provide these arrangements. While some offer fantastic growth opportunities, competitive salaries, and a supportive workplace, studies indicate that 59% of Zoomers value flexibility above all. So, what factors will convince them to commit when flexibility isn’t guaranteed?

As majority of the Gen Z population is still in the process of gaining experience, acquiring skills, and establishing a solid career foundation, we wanted to conduct a survey to assess the importance of various factors in relation to flexible work. In this blog, we’ll share our research process, highlight key Gen Z insights, and explore how your organisation can effectively attract and support Zoomers in the workforce.




To get inside the minds of Gen Z to understand what truly matters to them when it comes to work, we surveyed 360 individuals between the ages of 18 to 28 and asked them to complete a series of multiple-choice questions. Our goal was to assess the importance of a flexible work environment when pit against other factors such as high salary, a say in important decisions, opportunities for up-skilling, relationships with colleagues, and a supportive manager. 

We basically took the approach of asking participants, “If you had to choose one or the other, which would you prefer?”

This is how the survey was structured:

5 Questions – In a job, which would you rather have:

  1. Flexible work or high salary?
  2. Flexible work or a say in important decisions?
  3. Flexible work or opportunities for growth & skill development?
  4. Flexible work or relationships with co-workers?
  5. Flexible work or a supportive mentor/manager?





What Does This Say About Gen Z’s Workplace Preferences?


1 – Priority On Growth & Support


Gen Z strongly values opportunities for skill development and a supportive manager, over securing a flexible workplace.

We found that majority of respondents prioritise growth and development opportunities, as well as having a supportive manager, over flexible work arrangements. This trend could be attributed to the life stage of Gen Z members, particularly those aged 19 to 25, who are likely transitioning from studies to full-time employment. Given they don’t have as much to showcase as their more experienced peers when it comes to job applications, it makes sense for them to place more value on gaining such experience. And as they embark on their career journey, Zoomers probably recognise that having overly high workplace demands might not align with their current reality. This likely explains why flexible work arrangements don’t rank as a top priority for Gen Z when weighed against opportunities for growth.

On the other hand, many Zoomers hold mental health and well-being a very important factor when it comes to work. And according to Deloitte, managers play a big role in supporting the mental well-being of Gen Z workers “by providing support and engaging in purposeful conversations about their careers, interests, and skills.” This may explain why such a strong preference is placed on having a supportive manager or mentor. 

2 – Strong Desire For High Salary


Gen Z places more value on high salary than a flexible workplace.

Research by Gallup has shown that since 2015, there has been a significant shift in what matters most to employees. Back then, pay and benefits ranked the 4th most important factor with 41% of workers considering it to be ‘very important.’ Today, it has claimed the top spot with 64% of employees prioritising it as a critical factor when looking to take on a new job. The results of our study on Zoomers seem to align with this broader trend, reflecting the general increase in demand for competitive salaries and benefits among employees across various workplace contexts and generations. This means that expectations across the board have seemed to rise over the years and this is something that organisations must consider as those of Gen Z are no exception.

3 – Preference For Flexibility Over A Say In Important Decisions


Gen Z places more value on flexible work than having a say in important decisions.

According to a study by Handshake, the general priorities of Zoomers lie in: 

1 – Compensation that affords work-life balance

2 – The ability of a job to advance their careers

3 – Employee benefits (with an emphasis on flexibility and mental health)

These findings align well with the results of our survey as for most respondents, flexible work arrangements seem to take priority over having a seat at the table. This might be because they’re less experienced than their more seasoned colleagues and probably don’t walk into a job expecting to influence critical decisions from the get-go (considering their current career stage). 

4 – Want Both Flexibility And Workplace Relationships


Gen Z is fairly evenly split between their desire for relationships with colleagues and flexible work arrangements.

We received some pretty surprising results when we asked respondents to choose between having workplace relationships or having flexible work arrangements. There was a fairly even split between respondents on this question with a slight majority in favour of having relationships with colleagues over flexible work. It’s an interesting parallel to what Abode points out as Zoomers have a dual desire – they’re keen to build meaningful connections, yet they want to work from the comfort of their homes. So, while most early-career candidates value workplace relationships, they don’t necessarily desire a full-time, in-office role. 


What Can HR Do?


Make Some Changes To Recruitment

Based on our research findings, we’ve uncovered a few key insights that can help inform recruitment strategies for Gen Z candidates. As we’ve seen, many Zoomers place a high value on growth and the chance to develop their skills. So, as recruiters, it’s crucial to emphasise skills that will be learned on the job, training initiatives, and the presence of a clear path for career advancement within your organisation. By doing this, you can catch the attention of Gen Z candidates who are eager to learn and grow in their careers.

Additionally, acknowledging the strong preference for supportive managers or mentors, organisations can emphasise the availability of guidance and mentorship within roles, while investing in training programs for managers. This can contribute to an overall more effective and enjoyable workplace, and help organisations deliver on their promise of supportive management.

However, as the results still demonstrate that flexible work arrangements are quite important and play a big role in the decision to take a job, recruiters should proactively promote hybrid work, flexible hours, and alternative work setups if feasible for the advertised position. Emphasising this flexibility not only showcases an organisation’s commitment to work-life balance but also encourages a higher volume of Gen Z candidates to apply for your vacancies.

Strike A Balance Between Flexible Work and Fostering Relationships

Since our research has revealed that Gen Z is quite evenly divided in their preference for strong workplace relationships versus flexible work arrangements, finding a balance between these could be highly beneficial for your organisation. If you provide flexible work options, there are numerous things you can do to actively engage employees, foster that connection to co-workers, and encourage relationship-building. 

For instance, implementing a buddy or mentor program is an excellent way to ensure that your team members receive the guidance and social interaction they value. This approach can be particularly effective during the onboarding process and helps maintain team cohesion. Using onboarding packs to provide information to new hires about their ‘in-house buddy’ could prepare them for a smooth entrance into your organisation, communication and support from the get-go, and a positive start to forming further workplace relationships. 

Additionally, organising team-bonding events and company gatherings provides opportunities for employees to come together, fostering social connections and a sense of community within your workforce, while still maintaining that promise of flexibility and choice.


Key Takeaways


  • While flexible work arrangements do seem to carry a lot of weight for many Zoomers, the most important factors they seek in a job are growth & skills development and a supportive mentor/manager
  • There is an increasing demand for competitive salaries for the general population, including those of Gen Z
  • Using job advertisements and interviews to highlight flexibility, skills that will be learned on the job, training initiatives, supportive management, and the presence of a clear career advancement path can help attract Gen Z candidates
  • Striking a balance between flexible work conditions and fostering strong workplace relations can be advantageous to organisations looking to hire Zoomers

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